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Acclaimed stand-up comedian Rich Hall makes light of life

GROUCHY comic genius RICH HALL is coming to The Platform in Morecambe this Friday (March 2). Visitor news editor INGRID KENT talks to him about his visit and finds out about what he's been up to lately.

FOR a world-famous comedian, musician and singer Rich Hall is surprisingly serious as we chat about his new show.

His answers are considered and with barely a tinge of

sarcasm or irony.

It couldn't be further from the on-stage persona he has

created in 'Otis Lee Crenshaw' or his grumpy stand-up

routines which expose the ridiculousness of life.

He is now around 10 days into a national tour and says he is looking forward to returning to Morecambe this Friday.

Recalling the long sweep of the seafront and the hotel he stayed in as being like a faded nightclub singer in her evening dress, it's easy to see why his songwriting is often compared to that of Tom Waits.

Rich is well known in the United States for appearing and writing on The David Letterman Show – for which he won an Emmy Award.

He has also appeared on Saturday Night Live in the US and in the UK, Rich has appeared on Have I Got News For You, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Jack Dee's Sunday Service and Edinburgh Nights.

He says he likes being on tour at this time of year because it gives a real sense of the spring unfolding.

Rich says his material is completely different to the last show he did at The Platform. The new show is made up of

material from the Edinburgh Festival 2006. He will be talking about the current state of the world and the US in particular.

"The US should be in a very apologetic state just now," says Rich.

Appeal

"Talking about politics probably doesn't really appeal to people so I tend to talk mainly about the ridiculousness of the human condition. I have been trying not to make fun of Bush because it is so cheap and easy to do, but then I break down and go after him anyway.

"I've tried to come up with more different and interesting subjects than Bush!"

So will Otis Lee Crenshaw be making an appearance at The Platform?

"Not this time – it's just me," says Rich. "The show still has music in it but it's not Otis.

"After I've droned on and on it's nice to go over to the piano and play something.

"I've just finished a screen play for Mel Smith based on my Otis Lee Crenshaw book, 'I Blame Society.

"It's set in a trailer park and Otis and his buddy are stealing the trailers and doing them up.

"I don't know when it will be released yet."

Rich hasn't appeared in a film before but he likes the idea of taking Hollywood by storm.

After the current tour his next project will be to direct a new play called 'Best Western' about the disappearance of the western.

"It's a comedy about an old motel in Montana which is about to be crushed," he explains.

"It will be on at the Edinburgh Festival in July."

Rich lives in Montana and although he loves the wide open spaces and majestic scenery, he also hankers to be on the

comedy circuit: "I don't get many opportunities to do

comedy in Montana," he says.

"I live on a farm outside a town of 8,000 people. It's

beautiful but it never changes, so I enjoy doing the stand-up."

One thing is for sure, anyone who goes to The Platform this Friday is in for an unforgettable night of comedy. I've seen Rich live a couple of times and loved his quirky, deadpan humour as well as his funny songs and stories.

I laughed all the way through the show, all the way home and still have a giggle when I think about some of his wry

observations.

I'm looking forward to my next encounter with this

charismatic man of comedy.

The show starts at 8pm. For tickets, priced at 13 and 11, contact The Platform box office on 582803.

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