Comedy legend Lenny Henry comes to Watford on his latest tour
There is really very little that Sir Lenny Henry cannot do. As well as being one of Britain’s best-known and most celebrated comedians, he is also an acclaimed writer, radio DJ, TV presenter, co-founder of Comic Relief and an award-winning actor. In addition, Lenny has a PhD in Media Arts and in 2015 was awarded a knighthood for services to charity and drama.
But now Lenny is returning to his first love: live performance. Kicking off at the Birmingham Hippodrome on 20 October, and coming to Watford Colosseum on Saturday, October 26, the performer is touring the country with a brilliant new show, An Evening with Lenny Henry - Who Am I, Again?
Following the publication by Faber on 3 October of his memoir, also entitled, Who Am I, Again?, Lenny will be travelling the length and breadth of the country with his new show.
In the first half, Lenny treats us to a series of anecdotes - triggered by writing his memoir – which are both hilarious and poignant. He recollects growing up in the Black Country, puberty, school, friendship, family secrets and unabashed racism.
Lenny proceeds to regale the audience with memories of his stellar career. After he burst into the public consciousness in 1975 as the splendidly gifted 16-year-old winner of the TV talent show, New Faces, he enjoyed enormous success on such TV shows as Tiswas, Three of a Kind and The Lenny Henry Show. Despite his huge popularity, however, Lenny could not help himself wondering at every stage: “Am I good enough? Is this what they want?”
In the second half, Lenny will be interviewed by friend, broadcaster and author Jon Canter, offering further insights into his life and career.
The performer says he can’t wait to be back on stage.
“Live performance is just the best,” asserts Lenny. “Being in front of an audience is the best thing you can do. Films and telly are extra, but live is you unfiltered.”
The performer, who has also starred in such sitcoms as Chef! and The Fosters, goes on to recall the greatest live show he ever witnessed.
“What Morecambe and Wise did in front of a live audience was very different to what they did on telly. Eric was probably 20 times funnier on stage than he was on telly. I worked with him in 1979, and it was one of the most extraordinary live experiences I have ever had. It was so funny and loose.
“I try to get to the same space when I perform live, create a real sense that this is unmediated and unmitigated.”
The show will be bolstered by the presence of his legions of loyal fans, who have followed him up and down the country for the last four decades. The performer, 61, who has also appeared in such top-class dramas as Broadchurch, Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle, The Long Song, The Syndicate, and Hope and Glory, reflects on the amazing rapport he has with his audience.
“What is lovely is that my audience has grown with me over the years, they get me – and what I’m trying to do – I cherish that.”
The other aspect of live performance that he adores is that he can improvise. Lenny, who has also given memorable stage performances in Othello, The Comedy of Errors, Educating Rita and King Hedley II, reveals that: “With this show, the audiences are not just going to get a prepared, scripted presentation, but the bits in between, too
“My favourite comedians are the ones that have not only put in the hard work on their show, but they can also, swim between sections of their script and fool around.
“Those are my favourite performances: where you’re allowed to improvise right then and there. That’s what’s really exciting about live performance; you’re not watching a robot; you’re watching a human being.”
Even though his live show is tied to the publication of his memoir, the performer is swift to point out that this is very far from a conventional book tour.
He discloses that: “I thought, ‘I’m not going to do the normal book tour thing.’ How can I do that? I’m not sure comedians are supposed to do book tours in the way other people do them.
“There is a weight of expectation about a book tour, and people would be severely disappointed if a comedian started to navel gaze and talk about how his parents beat him viciously as a child. People are not going to get therapy on stage from me. They will get stories, character stuff and songs.”
As he looks back on his early years in the business, Lenny underscores how valuable they have been in forming him as a comedian.
“If you write a book about your early years, there is a palpable sense that the past is another country and that you’re looking at yourself from 1,000 miles away.
“This kind of reflection can make you realise why you are the way you are in the present day - I’ve noticed that I now stick up for myself and also want to be an integral part of the creative process, which all stems from the experience of my first 10 years in the business.”
Lenny closes by emphasising that the show should not only be entertaining but also provide insight into his true identity.
“I hope people enjoy their evening out with me – but I also want them to feel at the end, that they’ve learnt something about who I am and how I got there. This is a Len they’ve never met before.”
Finally, what does he hope audiences will take away from the show?
And, no doubt, many laughs.
An Evening With Lenny Henry UK tour comes to Watford Colosseum on Saturday, October 26. For tickets visit lennyhenryontour.net
Lenny Henry’s autobiography Who Am I, Again? is published by Faber, £20, out now.
Bucks Free Press
Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times
Fri, 22 Nov 2019 06:00:00 +0000
Pregnant smokers to be ‘paid’ to quit
PREGNANT women are to be ‘paid’ to stop smoking, as part of a £49,500 public health pilot in Hertfordshire.original article
Fri, 22 Nov 2019 06:00:00 +0000
Rayners Lane residents criticise plans to build homes on tube car park
Campaigners called on their council to block plans to build almost 130 new homes on a London Underground station car park.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 17:27:16 +0000
Heathrow Academy celebrates 15 years of outstanding apprentices
THE Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy in Newall Road has helped more than 5,800 people into employment since it was set up 15 years ago.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 17:14:37 +0000
Ealing's unique theatre celebrates its 90th birthday
IT has long been the jewel in the crown of the Ealing arts scene and the Questors Theatre is now is just 10 years from its centenary.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 17:11:17 +0000
RAF Northolt chefs bake a birthday cake for Raymond Blanc
TWO chefs from RAF Northolt delivered a cake to chef Raymond Blanc as part of this year’s Beaujolais Run® launch.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 17:10:00 +0000
Entries now open for ninth Ealing Half Marathon
ORGANISERS of the award-winning Ealing Half Marathon have confirmed the ninth running of the race will take place on Sunday, September 27, 2020 and entries are now open.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 17:05:47 +0000
Ealing vicar gathers election rivals together for hustings
THE Vicar of St John's Church in Mattock Lane, West Ealing, has persuaded all five candidates for the Ealing Central and Acton constituency to take part in a general election hustings on December 2, starting at 7.30pm.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 16:42:03 +0000
Jewellery targeted by burglars overnight in London Colney
A village has been plagued by at least six burglary cases overnight.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 16:00:00 +0000
Former St Martin's Preparatory School teacher sexually abused pupils
A former geography teacher has been jailed after sexually abusing pupils.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 15:30:00 +0000
Watford Parliamentary candidates says why you should vote for them
Parliamentary candidates for Watford have said why you should vote for them.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 15:01:34 +0000
Pinner independent school ranked fourth out of top 100 schools
School ranked fourth in top 100 schools Independent Preparatory Schools in England.original article
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 14:11:09 +0000
Drugs found during early morning police raids in Mill End and South Oxhey
Drugs and cash have been seized during early morning police raids.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 13:12:03 +0000
Man pronounced dead in Bushey
A man has died inside a shop.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 12:25:24 +0000
Nine suspected pickpockets and shoplifters in Watford detained
Pickpockets and shoplifters were targeted by undercover police.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 11:43:49 +0000
Man found dead in Bushey Hall Road - recap
Follow our live blog for updates on a police incident in Bushey Hill Road, Bushey.
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 08:27:10 +0000
Accident on the A1 and part suspensions on London Overground
Good morning, it is Thursday. Here is your morning update.original article
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:00:00 +0000
Harrow councillors criticise plans for homes on London Underground car parks
Harrow councillors savaged plans to build more than 500 new homes on three London Underground station car parks in the borough.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 20:00:00 +0000
Performance of A Christmas Carol in Hemel Hempstead aims to get audiences in the festive spirit
European Arts Company return with a heart-warming evening to get audiences in the festive spirit.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:00:00 +0000
Watford is one of the happiest places in the UK, data suggests
Watford the happiest place in the East of England and Hertfordshire, new data has suggested.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:00:00 +0000
New exhibition in Pinner focuses on fairies and elves in art
A new exhibition will celebrate the portrayal of fairies and elves in art.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:00:00 +0000
Cats Protection to open new rehoming centre in Harrow
A charity is preparing to open a new centre for abandoned and unwanted cats.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 17:15:00 +0000
Joseph McCann trial jury warned not to speak to witnesses
A senior judge has issued a warning after a juror made an "expression of human sympathy" to one of Joseph McCann's alleged victims outside court.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:30:00 +0000
Corssrail delays could cost Tfl £750 million in ticket sales
Delays to Crossrail could cost Transport for London (TfL) as much as £750 million in lost ticket sales, rail bosses admitted today.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:27:04 +0000
Joseph McCann trial: Mother of alleged rape victims thought he would kill family
A mother has described how a knife-wielding sex attacker abused her children after telling her: "I will slit your throat."original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:00:00 +0000
Pet owner from Bushey left heartbroken after his cat was murdered
A pet owner whose “happy and affectionate” cat was murdered described his killer as “pure evil”.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:00:00 +0000
Harrow councillors criticise plans for 195 new homes in The Ridgeway
Plans to build almost 200 new homes on the site of a church were described as “over the top” by Harrow councillors.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 15:53:05 +0000
Inquest opened after man died at a train station in Watford
An inquest has been opened after a man died at a train station.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 14:20:03 +0000
Harrow man paid £150 to try and sexually abuse child
A man has been jailed for sexual offences including attempting to pay for sexual services of a child.
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 12:33:02 +0000
Number of children living in poverty from working households increases in East of England
There are over 90,000 more children in working households growing up in poverty in the East of England since 2010, a new study has revealed.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 10:20:00 +0000
Delays on Watford Road due to roadworks
Drivers are set to face delays after roadworks begun on a busy road.
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 09:37:53 +0000
Britain's Got Talent act to feature in Christmas Party in Harrow
A Britain’s Got Talent act will star at a Christmas Party in the town centre.
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 08:05:25 +0000
Traffic news: Congestion along M11 and minor tube delays
Good morning everyone, hope you all have a commute this morning. Here is the latest updates:
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 06:00:00 +0000
Haulage driver asks Harrow Council to replace Northolt Road bus lane sign
A driver has urged a council to use “common sense” and update a road sign after he was fined for using a bus lane.original article
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 11:00:00 +0000
Three Wetherspoon pubs around Watford wins Loo of the Year award
You may find some relief knowing that these Wetherspoon pubs have been awarded platinum ratings.
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 23:01:49 +0000
Johnson hits back at Labour claims NHS will be sold to US firms
Boris Johnson repeatedly sought to fend off Labour claims his party will privatise the NHS in tonight’s ITV Leaders’ debate, writes Gwyn Wright.
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 22:32:54 +0000
Corbyn: Prince Andrew has serious questions to answer and is not above law
Jeremy Corbyn weighed into the controversy enveloping Prince Andrew in tonight’s ITV Leaders’ debate, writes Jacob Phillips.
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 21:32:14 +0000
Brexit dominates Leaders’ Debate as Johnson and Corbyn clash in bad-tempered exchanges
Jeremy Corbyn refused nine times to say if he would support a Labour-negotiated Brexit deal in today’s ITV Leaders’ Debate, writes Ed Southgate.
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 18:00:00 +0000
Boris Johnson pledges stronger stop and search powers
The Prime Minister has promised new stop-and-search powers to crack down on knife crime in London if he is re-elected.original article
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 17:26:45 +0000
Four members of Hertfordshire cocaine drug ring jailed
A group of men are jailed following an investigation into a drug ring.
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 16:49:30 +0000
Joseph McCann trial: Teenage girl feared becoming 'rapist's sex slave'
A man facing 37 allegations including rape, kidnap and attacks on children was branded "pure evil" as a teenager described how she and her little brother were abused at knifepoint.original article
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 16:10:00 +0000
Watford one of the cheapest places to commute, study finds
Watford is one of the cheapest places for commuters, a study has found.
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 15:10:00 +0000
Tribute paid to man from Croxley Green who died after crash
A family has paid tribute to a driver who was killed after crashing into a tree.
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 14:00:00 +0000
Teenager injured after home broken into in Watford
A teenager has been injured after a home was broken into.
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 12:31:12 +0000
Harrow Council leader defends cabinet member on regeneration
The leader of Harrow Council accused the borough’s Conservative Group of making “continued and personal attacks” on one of his cabinet members.original article
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 11:00:00 +0000
Hear the choir singing at All Saints church, Leavesden's Christmas market
A choir will sing at a church's festive market to enable it to host family activities. original article
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 07:16:50 +0000
Morning update - Traffic light failure causes delays and queuing traffic on M25
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 06:00:00 +0000
Harrow Council leader defends Extinction Rebellion protestors
The leader of Harrow Council refused to condemn the recent protests by Extinction Rebellion, despite their impact on local police resources.original article
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 15:01:05 +0000
Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery opens in Watford
A nursery which has been “three years in the making” had its official opening day.
Last updated by System Admin on 27th August, 2018