Stand up – Lenny’s on stage!

Lenny Henry will be asking his audience Where You From? in his stand-up show at the Gordon Craig Theatre. The 48-year-old Dudley born comedian will visit Stevenage having completed the first leg of his nationwide tour, and he can t wait. Nothing beats

Lenny Henry will be asking his audience 'Where You From?' in his stand-up show at the Gordon Craig Theatre.

The 48-year-old Dudley born comedian will visit Stevenage having completed the first leg of his nationwide tour, and he can't wait.

"Nothing beats the buzz of live comedy. It gives you the instant feedback of approval," he says.

"Comedians crave that - it's the 'mummy, look at me' syndrome," says the hugely charismatic star, who first made a name for himself winning New Faces as a 16-year-old in 1975.

"For a comedian, the audience is the ultimate test of whether or not the material is working. I just love live comedy."

His previous two shows Have You Seen This Man? and So Much Things to Say brought huge success for Lenny, whose passion for stand-up is clear to see.

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"In that weird part of the brain where cabbies store The Knowledge, comedians keep stuff that will make audiences behave in a very strange way and start falling over."

Happily married to fellow comedian Dawn French for the past 22 years, and proud father to daughter Billie, Lenny is one of those people who loves his job.

"Your happiness is bound up in your family and friends and what you do.

"This is what I do - and it couldn't make me happier. As I move towards the second stage of the tour, I'm really fired up about it."

With a host of other skills to his name, the actor, writer, singer, and impressionist has tied in the new show with a documentary series he has filmed for BBC1, called Lenny's Britain.

He tours the country looking to construct a 'comedy map' of the UK , deciding whether Birmingham is funnier than Glasgow, or if there are more laughs to be had in London than Belfast.

In Where You From? Lenny will be regaling his audience with some hilarious tales from the road-trip, in which he tried his hand at various jobs to see how work affects humour.

These included a stint on the South Pier at Blackpool selling doughnuts, working in an Indian restaurant in Glasgow, and helping out at a Dudley nursing home named after his mum.

He says: "The idea was to meet people in the way that John Peel used to meet them on Home Truths.

"So often they tell you something really personal with a very compassionate sense of humour."

During his latest stand-up Lenny talks about his teenage jobs as a paper-boy and beer-glass collector at Dudley Zoo, as well as revisiting characters from the original Lenny Henry Show, such as Mr Lister, The Wolfman, and Delbert Wilkins.

Lenny adds: "The whole experience of collecting material for Where You From? has been terrific.

"It's been like the country reciprocating. I've been working in comedy for 32 years - and now the British public are paying me back.

"They're telling me jokes and making me laugh. I'm loving it!'

As he prepares to take the tour to a new list of venues across the UK and Ireland, Lenny tells fans "Sit back, relax, strap yourself in, and perhaps partake in a cocktail or two. It's going to be a fun ride for the whole audience."

Lenny Henry appears at the Gordon Craig Theatre on September 8, at 8pm. Tickets cost £22.50.

Contact the box office on 0870 131030.

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