Following a massive 110 date tour of his show Schmuck for a Night earlier in the year, award winning comedian and actor Omid Djalili is now performing his show in a new batch of dates for Winter 2017/2018. After a break from touring this summer to take a starring role in Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, Omid is now returning to stand up with new dates across the UK, until Saturday 27th January 2018. Here he sits down for a chat…
Your stand-up show is called ‘Schmuck for a Night’ – you toured it for 110 dates throughout 2016/early 2017. That’s a lot of nights to be a schmuck! How was touring earlier this year?
It was truly an honour to do 110 dates. The producers of the TV show “Undateables” said soon as my tour is over I can come back and do another 110 dates.
What can audiences expect from the show?
It’s a comedy roller-coaster. But you have to be a certain height to take the ride. If you’re shorter than my hips you won’t be let in.
Were you driven to take the show back on the road for a brand-new batch of autumn/winter dates by the ever-changing political climate? There must be so much you want to talk about!
I had to come back. There are heckles dating back to October 2016 that I still need to respond to.
Did you find it tricky to constantly keep the show fresh when touring earlier in the year or did the news provide a constant source of ripe comedic material?
All my material is frozen immediately after it’s written so it’s always fresh.
How much had the material changed from the first to last show?
Some of it had thawed and was starting to smell.
What was the schmuck-iest thing you did on the last leg of the tour?
Well that was when I was forced to eat everything in my freezer without defrosting to make room for my jokes. It took hours and I got ill. But the jokes stayed fresh and that’s all that matters.
As part of your role as Tevye you had to sing & dance – can audiences expect you to be infusing that showmanship into your stand up this autumn?
Absolutely. Audiences have been known to riot if I don’t sing and dance. Well maybe just in Charlottesville.
What was it like to work with Director Daniel Evans for Fiddler?
My God is that his name? The whole run I called him Derek.
What are the differences in your own creative processes of putting together a stand-up show and being involved in a musical theatre production?
The differences are huge. In musicals, you need laser like precision to get words and songs right or the show collapses. In stand up all I have to hope for is the audience don’t recommend me for immediate deportation.
In late 2016, you filmed a live-action Disney adaptation of ‘The Nutcracker’ – who did you work with, what was your role & when can we expect to see the film in cinemas?
Helen Mirren was with us for a day and was very nurturing and motherly. Especially towards me. When she noticed I was uncomfortable and kept tugging at the groin area of my trousers she advised me never to run out of clean underwear and avoid wearing my teenage son’s swimming trunks a). because they are too small and b). chlorine from the swimming pool will always cause itching. I’ll never forget that. Amazing woman.
Omid Djalili: Schmuck for a Night continues to tour until the 27th January 2018. The show will be performed at the Leicester Square Theatre from the 7th to the 14th January.