Sarah Millican’s tour support and all-round good comedy egg Tom Allen is BACK in Edinburgh – with, he says, ‘serene, formal show’
LiF: Mr Allen. Please tell us about the new show.
TA: Oh god! Well I suppose it’s about me? But at the same time it’s about you. All of us! But mostly me. And dressing up in Victorian clothing as a teenager to disguise the fact that I was gay. And is there such a thing as a lifestyle choice?
LiF: What’s your favourite bit (so far)?
TA: I like the bit with the space ship.
LiF: As one of comedy’s most best-dressed, what’s your onstage look going to be? Other than STRONG.
TA: Oh hang on did you mean in my show?? My favourite bit in my show? I’d say the bit where I speak fast about people who say sorry all the time. And my look? Formal. It’s a very serene, formal show.
LiF: Why did you feel Edinburgh 2014 was ripe for your Fringe comeback?
TA: I didn’t. I just thought I hadn’t been up for several years and wanted to show that I’d been getting as much experience as I could – I’ve supported Sarah Millican on tour, done some television, been performing around the world – so I wanted to show I’m better than I was the last time I was there.
LiF: Have you missed Edinburgh?
TA: No. The festival is one of the most terrifying experiences – both beforehand and during – that you can put yourself through. You have to make yourself vulnerable to write the show, then when you get there you’re relentlessly compared to others, criticised and charged thousands of pounds. Would you miss that? [Fair point – Ed]
LiF: Are we going to hear more about your mother in this show? She’s been something of a muse, no?
TA: I’m living with my parents in order to save the money in order to do the show. So inevitably a bit, yes.
LiF: Have you got any Scottish independence material to crowbar in?
TA: No. I’d like us to stay together but maybe that’s because I have lots of friends up there and I like the idea of us being in the same country.
LiF: What will your daily routine be?
TA: Get up, go swimming, do show, make dinner, watch RuPaul’s Drag Race.
LiF: What would you be doing this summer if you weren’t in Edinburgh?
TA: I’d go on holiday. And maybe learn a language. Take up an evening class. Make lots of cakes. I’d also continue with my podcast At Home with Tom Allen.