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Happy to be centre stage

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

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KNOWN to most as the young, but not especially thrusting, policy adviser Ollie Reeder in The Thick Of It, Chris Addison made the transition from stand-up to acting pretty seamlessly, as so many of our stand-ups, from Billy Connolly to Eddie Izzard have.

There were a few bitter tears shed when Armando Iannucci decided to call time on the show, not least because alongside the savage bite of its satire, hearing Malcolm Tucker let rip like a pitbull in a chicken coop has a surprisingly soothing effect on your average viewer's pent-up stresses.

Chris admits it was tough for him to relinquish the role, but he is happy to be heading back to the stage and to the microphone.

And he makes his way to Swansea's Grand Theatre on February 5.

"It was the right decision and a strong decision as well.

"It's something that has been a joy to do and been so well received by people, so it's inevitable that you'll feel sad about it.

"We had a screening of the inquiry episode and the finale and it was very sad. It's been such an incredible joy to knock about with those people for eight years, and it did feel a real shame.

"But I'm currently working on Veep — Iannucci's show about the slippery corridors of US political power — so I can console myself that it hadn't quite stopped for me."

And his new stand-up show, The Time Is Now, Again, should keep him occupied, sa he says: "There's nothing like being on stage. I am very lucky and have done some ridiculous things.

"I've got to do acting, directing and hanging out with the people on Mock The Week.

"I love all of it, but it all comes from the stand-up: that's where I cut my teeth."

While some of his early live shows were known for taking on the big subjects, earning him a reputation as a thinking man's comic, at their heart they were always about gags, he says, and this one is no different.

"It's jokes, stories, lies, whimsy, some shouting, quite a lot of sweating and quite a lot of laughing on the part of the audience. I know that for sure as this is the third and final leg of this show. I'm now putting it to bed.

"But of the shows I've done, it's my favourite one and I'll be sorry to see the back of it."

As well as all of the above, it is likely to feature routines about the coalition government, the Royal Family and middle-class idiosyncrasies.

"Fundamentally I think people are smart and I don't attempt to hide my interests or talk down to anybody.

"But the problem is, and it's my own fault, I slightly painted myself into a corner.

"About ten years ago I started writing shows about big themes because, especially with Edinburgh, there are so many comics and you had to find a way of doing something different.

"But then the strapline is 'a stand-up show about evolution' which will mean many people will see that and understandably go to see someone else.

"It sells itself short in a way because the shows have always only ever been about the jokes, but it's hard to see past the title sometimes. That's why for the last couple of tours I've done straight stand-up without any massive themes."

#The laughs begin at 8pm, running until 10pm.

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