Are you aged 16 but feel 40 or aged 57 but feel 21?
This is the subject of Russell Kane’s new stand-up show Right Man, Wrong Age, which tours to Buxton Opera House next month.
The audience at the acclaimed comedy night is set to encounter someone with a new look, fresh perspectives and a different approach to his comedy, reveals Russell.
“In the last year I’ve been married and had a baby. I’ve changed my hair, I’ve changed my look. I’ve even thrown all my eyeliner in the bin.”
“I literally went to my wardrobe one day and got all my ridiculous clothes and took them to the Sue Ryder shop for other man having a midlife crisis, then bought the four exact same suits in different colours from Topman. Then I got my hair as flat as it can go and I thought, ‘that’s it: this is me now’.”
In fact, Russell can pinpoint the exact moment when he needed to alter his outlook and write a new show.
It started with somebody at the door …
He said: “I’m always looking for the moment that can make me look ridiculous in a way that is compelling.
“I was in the middle of spray-tanning myself upstairs in these tiny pants when the doorbell went. I went downstairs in my dressing gown and this window cleaner was touting for work. He leaned in and said, ‘I’m really sorry to disturb you: is your mum or dad in at all?’
“Initially you might have thought this was a compliment, but it’s really not. He could be talking about how I’m putting myself across so I thought: ‘clothes in the bin’.”
And at that moment, there was Right Man, Wrong Age, his show, based on how we never quite feel the life-stage that we’re in, whether we’re 80 or 18.
“When you’re 18, you look in the mirror and think ‘I know what I want to do, so why am I trapped in this 18-year-old body?’ said Russell. “While the 80-year-old is still waltzing and dancing around in her head.”
Inevitably, his new fatherhood status will have to be addressed in his show. As ever with Russell, he’ll work hard to avoid easy clichés.
“It’s so old hat to talk about having babies that I need to find another way in. It’s like walking into Pret at 5pm and there’s one boiled egg left: that’s what’s left to say about childbirth. I’ve never heard a man talk about caesarean section, so that might be the way to go.”
Kane also has ambitions to tap into the online market with his stand-up. “I’ve not really seen other stand-ups doing it; I’ve seen some using their social media and doing bits of sketches but I haven’t seen many take the risk of doing stand-up down the barrel of a camera, posting it and seeing what happens.”
l Russell Kane will be at Buxton Opera House on Friday, June 3, at 8pm. Tickets are priced at £16 to £18.50; to buy tickets, call 01298 72190 or visit www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk