Tick, tick, tick boom ... energetic comedian Kane explodes on to town stage
The comedian Russell Kane is renowned for his phenomenal energy on stage as thrill-seekers will discover when he visits Frome on Saturday, March 23.
But where does it come from? "Lucozade and my mum," he laughs. "It's a killer combination of sugar and genetics."
Russell, a hugely popular performer who was the first comedian ever to win The Edinburgh Comedy Award and the Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the two most prestigious prizes in comedy, in the same year, continues:
"Energy is fundamental to my act – in fact, it's more important than almost anything else."
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"I had instant energy from the moment I was laid out on a towel when I was born. My mum's life was hell from that moment on!
"As a child, I needed constant stimulation. I wanted answers to everything. On my first day at nursery, when all the other kids were sobbing and holding on to their mums' legs, I ran away from my mother and didn't even look back. I had to wait until I was 19 to find out what to do with my energy."
That was when he discovered stand-up – a moment for which we should all be very grateful indeed. Russell recalls: "I left university and got a very good job at an advertising agency. But it was so full on that I needed a hobby in the evening to divert me.
"I picked stand-up comedy at random. I could have done French or pottery or dance. I'd never been to live comedy in my life. But lo and behold, I was good at it! From the very first gig, something that had been locked inside me for a long time suddenly came out."
What came out was a natural talent for magnetic stand-up comedy and since then Russell has proved to be one of the UK's most in demand comedians. He has sold out at the Edinburgh Festival for many years, released a hugely popular DVD of his Edinburgh Comedy Award winning show, Smokescreens and Castles in 2011 and also written a novel, The Humorist.
His new show, entitled Posturing Delivery, is fantastically funny and poses many thought-provoking questions.
Russell said: "At what stage is it appropriate for a man to worry about having a baby? The issue sometimes seems to be exclusively female, but why should it just be for the women? Do men have a biological clock? And does it tick in the same way as a woman's?
"On stage, I have an imaginary baby called Ivan that grows from nought to 18 in the space of an hour.
"Inspiration came after I had just split up with a girl. I told a friend I was worried that people in my industry never get around to having a family. But she said, 'You don't have to worry. You can still be a father at 50'.
"But just because it's biologically possible doesn't mean it's the best way. There are loads of things that are biologically possible that people should not do!
"The show has a very tight structure at the beginning and end with a very loose middle.
"It's like a bungee jump – you also get this tremendous feeling of elation afterwards when the laughter rolls in.
"As long as Ivan is born at the start and leaves home at the finish, I can do what I like in the middle. It's like a good frame with a splodge of paint in the centre.
"You have this amazing feeling when you get your first laugh. It's very powerful and addictive.
"It's like getting a big hug from everyone. I've done a lot of theatre and television, and nothing beats the direct address of stand-up.
"There is no fourth wall – you're looking straight down the barrel into the whites of the audience's eyes. There is no filter.
"With stand-up, you get this wonderful instant response. You feel very naked, and even though it's strange, I genuinely love that.
"I love making each night unique for that particular room. If I'm in Frome, I'll make the show all about Frome. If you ground yourself in the now-ness of that night, it feels more universal. It gives you the licence to go anywhere you want."
Russell, who has appeared in such TV shows as Live at the Apollo, Celebrity Mastermind, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Mock The Week, Ask Rhod Gilbert and Comedy Rocks, is compering the second series of the hit BBC3 comedy show, Live at the Electric.
Russell said: "In every show I will be doing eight minutes of stand-up and a sketch. It's great to be able to flex my sketch muscle.
"Programmes like Live at the Apollo and Michael McIntyre's Roadshow are great for stand-up, but they don't feature sketches and characters. We're like the hatch you might find the back of Michael McIntyre's Roadshow. We wanted to make something more nerdy and underground, hosted by the King of the Nerds – me!
"I think it's very positive to be geeky. My background was playing Dungeons And Dragons, and my friends were always those kind of people. Geek chic should be celebrated!"
â Russell visits Frome on Saturday, March 23 and tickets cost £17.50. For further information and to book tickets visit www.fromememorialtheatre.org.uk.