Dave packs a punch at Palace

Comedian Dave Spikey
Comedian Dave Spikey

It’s been a busy year for comedian Dave Spikey, about to hit the road again for some eagerly-awaited stand-up dates.

2015 started with the multi-award winner donning the white tuxedo as he reprised his role as Jerry “The Saint” St Clair, alongside Peter Kay, as part of Phoenix Nights live shows for Comic Relief at the Manchester Arena.

Since then he’s been working on scripts for possible future TV projects and honing his Punchlines show. The latest tour dates for Punchlines will include a visit to Mansfield Palace Theatre on Saturday, September 26.

Punchlines derive their humour from being unexpected. So, can a joke or funny story still make you laugh like a drain when you have been given the punchline beforehand? Dave believes so and in his new show he will present strong evidence to support this.

Dave performed a number of Punchlines live shows last year but don’t worry - if you saw it then you’ll notice quite a few differences this time around.

He explained: “I try to keep it relatively fresh so if you saw the show last year, you will probably notice 30-40 per cent different. I’m not so keen on massive tours, 30 dates or so is fine for me, then I take a break to do some writing and then I can return to the show and work in some new stuff.”

The show sprang from a night out for Dave and his mates.

“I was out one night in a pub and noticed that there was laughter everywhere and people trying to outdo each other. It got me thinking about punchlines and would something be funny if you already know the punchline, so it grew from there.

“In the show, we put seven punchlines on the big screen at the start and I tell them ‘you will definitely laugh at these when I tell the joke in the second half, even though you know the punchline’ - and they do. It works brilliantly.

Dave got into full-time comedy in his 40s and first came national attention as co-star and co-writer of the much-loved Channel Four comedy Phoenix Nights.

At the start of this year, the Phoenix Nights team got back together for the first time in over a decade for 15 dates at Manchester Arena for Comic Relief, an experience that Dave says was an unforgettable one.

“I still get goosebumps just thinking about it. We had 15,000 people each night for 15 nights. It was incredible. There was a lot of love in the room. We had that cult following but you forget it was 12-13 years ago and the viewing figures were not that high at the time, but it has remained popular on DVD and it was unforgettable to get the white tuxedo on, do Jerry’s intros as the ‘compere without compare’ and when you went on, the lighting was such that you could definitely see 15,000 faces.”

Dave says he’s never really short of material to work into his shows and scripts. “I make notes all the time, just walking down the street can be productive. You include weird things in your show and people think you’re making it up but you’re not. Why would you make up stuff that’s that weird!

““I’m one of those people who overhears something good and thinks ‘I can use that’. My wife calls me Mr Nosey.

“I’ve spent a good year on writing this show. It’s a very pleasurable experience to write it and then tour it. Performing takes the edge over writing - just - because there’s something I like about being out there on my own, controlling things and performing, and you stand or fall on your own performance, no-one else’s. I enjoy it.”

Dave’s no stranger to Mansfield’s Palace Theatre as he explains: “I ecorded my The Best Medicine DVD at the Palace a few years ago so I’ve played there before. It’s a lovely little theatre and I’ve definitely got some good memories of performing there. I’m looking forward to a return visit.”

For tickets, contact the Palace’s box office on 01623 633133 or see www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre