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Mark Steel comes to Dorset
FOLLOWING his highly acclaimed, Sony Award winning and Writers Guild Award winning Radio 4 comedy show Mark Steel’s In Town, the man himself is bringing the performance to two Dorset addresses next month.
On Tuesday, he will be examining the curiosities of Poole at Lighthouse and then on May 13 he will be dissecting the eccentricities of Bridport at the town’s arts centre.
Bringing an element of Mark Steel’s In Town to each live show means its author has to study each destination to enable him to shed light on the quirkiness and interesting aspects of every town and city he visits. This is not the first time he has been to Dorset and he still has fond memories of when he brought his In Town show to Portland two years ago.
“I got into trouble for singing a verse from the old Chas and Dave song Rabbit,” he laughed, “even though I didn’t actually say the word ‘rabbit’ it still caused quite a stir.
“Portland’s an amazing place – I remember someone saying that it’s not that long since there were only about eight surnames on the island. And I love the word ‘kimberlin’. Just think, you could be from Weymouth or from the Congo but Portlanders still use the same word to describe you.”
The current leg of the tour has taken Mark all over the UK and his travels have given him a rare and intimate insight into the parochial quirks and local rivalries that lie in every part of the country.
In the town of Corby, which has a moon crater named after it, he learned of the town’s fierce dislike of Kettering and its inhabitants.
“I was being interviewed by the local paper and even they were saying ‘just say how you hate Kettering for the article’,” he said. “People were booing when I talked about the town on stage.
“It gets a better reaction in the smaller places. Newcastle was great but the smaller the place is, the more minute you can be.”
One of his favourite instances of local rivalry came in Dorset when he was appearing at the Marine Theatre in Lyme.
“I remember there was a real rivalry between the theatre and a venue in Bridport. The manager of the Marine was delighted because the other place wanted a comedy night, but he had booked me for the same night and had been out in Bridport leafleting about it.”
Mark is at the Lighthouse, Poole on Tuesday at 8pm (call 0844 406 8666 for tickets and full details) and at Bridport Arts centre on May 13 at 8pm (call 01308 424204). The show has an age guidance of 16 and up.