My Week: Rik Mayall, Comedian
by Rik Mayall Interviews And Articles Archive Blog
The Telegraph, 29th April 2006
Rik Mayall tells Laura Barnett about the week he brought Alan B’Stard back to life
It was the technical rehearsal for my new stage show, The New Statesman – Episode 2006: The Blair B’Stard Projectin Brighton. I managed to break a filing cabinet – the most important prop – and injure an actor’s finger. While everyone else ran around trying to fix them, I relaxed and smoked cigarettes. Then I took the whole cast out for dinner to console them.
I got very excited about wearing Alan B’Stard’s gorgeous pin-stripe suits for the dress rehearsal. They’re made by the oldest suit-makers in London and just right for Alan, who’s a smooth New Labour MP. I really feel the business in them. The show opened in the evening and, thankfully, the punters went wild for it. Afterwards we had a party on the theatre balcony and got very drunk. Everybody was waving and shouting from below. Some of the girls even threw me their pants.
I strolled down to buy fags in the morning feeling a bit nervous about whether the matinee would work. Luckily it did – we had another full house and there were lots of laughs. It was a pretty exhausting show, so I had a nap before the evening performance.
Later we all went to a disco with flashing lights and horrible loud music. I waited for people to come up and talk to me. When they didn’t, I walked back to my hotel.
A day off. I stayed in bed for most of it. When I did finally get up I went for a long walk along the beach under huge banners with my face strung from lampposts to advertise the show. With those everywhere it was impossible to stay incognito – people kept coming up and telling me what they thought about the show. I didn’t mind; I love being recognised. In the evening an executive limo took me home to London.
I met some mates in our favourite pub, The Dog’s Eye off Ladbroke Grove, west London. We stopped drinking by about three when a car came to take me back to Brighton. The evening show was the best yet – everything just seemed to come together. Ben Elton and Tory MP Nicholas Soames were in the audience and both seemed to enjoy it. Afterwards Ben and I walked along the beach, throwing stones at the sea and talking about the plays we’re going to write together. I’ve decided that theatre is the future for me; television is so last century.