Alan is a film lecturer and a comedian, running 15 to 20 regular gigs across the East Midlands.
On his short course at Phoenix – Stand-Up at The Cinema – Alan will be giving a unique insight into the comic’s life, and how comedians have been depicted in cinema over the decades. Aspiring comedians will even learn a thing or two about the craft.
We’re in the middle of Leicester’s Comedy Festival. Is stand-up comedy thriving at the moment?
There are a huge number of new acts coming onto the stand-up scene these days, but the danger is that some people get stuck on that carousel of doing small open mic gigs. The challenge is getting onto that next stage when they are appearing alongside professional acts, where you learn your craft and get to experience larger audiences.
How will the course tackle stand-up comedy in the movies?
The course will feature a mix of films including biopics such as Dustin Hoffman’s Lenny, and Jim Carrey’s Man in the Moon. Some of it will be about how doing comedy changes your life and relationships. If you’re out there travelling a couple of hundred miles and getting home about 2am, you need an understanding partner. That’s why we’ll also be looking at the pain and hardship of being a stand-up, like Laurence Olivier’s The Entertainer, or more recently, Funny People with Adam Sandler.
Other than the ones you’ve mentioned above, what other films delve into the world of stand-up, or feature stand-up comedy?
There’s Lee Evans in Funny Bones, Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and The Front. Also Tom Hanks in Punchline and Tommy Trinder in Champagne Charlie. We’re still waiting for a film in Britain that really captures what stand-up is about.
Stand-Up at The Cinema runs at Phoenix on Sat 18 Feb, 10.30am – 4pm.