The UK has had its fair share of ups and downs in recent years, from political uncertainties to global pandemics. But if there’s one thing that can cut through the gloom and inject a healthy dose of laughter, it’s the wit and wisdom of the inimitable Andy Parsons.
Returning to the stage with his brand new show, Bafflingly Optimistic, Parsons has embarked on a UK tour this autumn, following a successful stint at the Edinburgh Fringe. Renowned for his insightful comedic take on societal events, the 55-year-old is perhaps best known for his long-standing role on Mock The Week.
Drawing from both his personal life and the chaotic state of the world, Parsons’ latest act dives into the ups and downs of parenting, the political climate, and a unique view of the world as seen through the eyes of his 11-year-old son.
Despite the rollercoaster ride that the past few years have presented, Parsons’ perspective remains undeterred. “I think there are reasons to be hopeful. It’s not a depressing show, you won’t want that on your night out. It’s full of big laughs,” he quipped.
Yorkshire fans are in for a special treat, particularly when Parsons touches down at the historic Leeds City Varieties, a venue he holds in high regard. “Leeds City Varieties is as good as it gets. One of the last Victorian music halls left, it has absolutely one of the best-looking theatre interiors anywhere in the country,” he gushes.
For those in Yorkshire looking forward to a night of hearty laughs, the inclusion of local references and fond memories is sure to resonate. Whether he’s reminiscing about a hilarious cricket match in Leeds or raving about the iconic Betty’s Teashop, Parsons’ local tales are sure to hit home.
To keep the energy flowing, we sat down with the comedic maestro for an exclusive chat.
Interview with Andy Parsons
Where’s your favourite place to visit in Yorkshire?
Leeds City Varieties is as good as it gets. One of the last Victorian music halls left, it has absolutely one of the best-looking theatre interiors anywhere in the country – and there’s a sweet shop in the corner.
Do you have a favourite place to eat in Yorkshire?
Betty’s Teashop is always a winner. I’m always hopeful to hear a conversation in there along the lines of CUSTOMER: “I’d like a scone please” BETTY’S EMPLOYEE: “Fat Rascal?” CUSTOMER: “There’s no need for that. I’m not eating in here again”.
Have you ever travelled to Yorkshire for sport – if so, tell us a bit about those visits?
I played in the televised Test Match Special 60th Anniversary Cricket Match in Leeds with Michael Vaughan as my captain and Phil Tufnell as the opposition captain. We won – although I can’t remember much about the cricket as the post-cricket party was first-rate.
It’s a big tour – what sort of accommodation do you prefer to stay in when on the road?
I filmed one of my DVDs in the Harrogate Theatre, another wonderful old theatre in Yorkshire. During filming I was put up in the Harrogate Hotel du Vin in one of their fancy suites on the top floor and was looked after very nicely, so I try and go back there as much as I can when I am in the area. Supposedly, people in Harrogate drink to more hazardous levels and watch more porn than anywhere else in UK – so it was a perfect place to film a comedy DVD.
Will you get a chance to go sightseeing while in Yorkshire? Anything in particular you’d like to see?
While fans wait for your dates in Yorkshire, where can they hear from you?
They can always contact me on social media. All details at www.andyparsons.co.uk