Arts Editor Ed Grimble enjoys a tête-à-tête with continental comedy connoisseur Marcel Lucont, as he brings his ‘Whine List’ to Bristol’s Colston Hall this week.
Uncork Marcel Lucont’s suave and savvy brand of stand-up comedy, and you’ll find yourself very much hooked. An annual favourite with Edinburgh Fringe audiences, and with successful television appearances on the likes of Russell Howard’s Good News and John Bishop’s Christmas Show under his belt, he is currently touring the wonderful ‘Whine List’, billed as ‘a kind of self-help group where everyone potentially leaves more depressed’. I caught up with the bibulous bon vivant ahead of his performance in Bristol.
Firstly, for the forgetful or the ignorant, who is Marcel Lucont?
The ignorant do not deserve to know, but for the forgetful, Marcel Lucont is your path to wisdom, to culture, to life’s truths. He is a man made of pure entertainment, who is coming to your city on April 13 to help you forget life’s woes by discussing life’s woes.
What about Britain made you come and start plying your trade here?
On my first visit to Britain I realised how simple my job would be there, where so many observations are jokes in themselves. To have so much material already written for you as soon as you walk out of the door was just too much of a temptation for me.
Speaking as an outsider peering into the circus tent that is Britain, how have the past few farcical months of politics and the like influenced or affected your job as an observer and comedian?
To write the material is now far too easy for me in fact, although it is certainly more fun aggravating the aforementioned ignorant persons in the audience who still do not seem to understand what they voted for, months after they voted for it.
Is this your first time in Bristol? Any spare time for a spot of flâneurie around the place?
I believe I brought my first UK tour to Bristol in 2012. My recollection is that is was by no means one of the least appealing locations that year.
Really enjoyed @MarcelLucont at the Thr Glee Club in Birmingham last night. Really top draw comedy.
— Jim Calverley (@JimCalverley) April 8, 2017
What can people expect from this leg of ‘Whine List’?
I have learned to stop expecting anything. Some of the most perverted tales have come from audience members whose appearance would suggest a timid librarian, and some of the more innocuous responses, when questioned further, have developed to reveal situations many civilised countries would consider criminal.
Forgive the sweeping generalisation—How are Brits as audiences? What amuses you about us, and what grinds your gears?
You are forgiven, most are incredibly easy to please, laughing often at something which sounds like something else but more rude. Of course, the Marcellites I get at my solo shows are more discerning, although having performed in comedy and cabaret shows the last few years, it amazes me how little concentration is possessed by many British audience members, unable to enjoy live entertainment without a small idiot box on their lap illuminating their hanging hanging jaws with a light blue glow.
What are the most amusing or unexpected confessions that you have plucked from your audiences whilst performing Whine List?
There are many to choose—a man whose wife ran away with a pirate in Malta, the taxi driver who crashed through his passenger’s wall—but the most unexpected occurred at Edinburgh Fringe last year. This was a Canadian woman who cancelled her own wedding after believing she saw a ghost of her future self at the back of the church. To better this will be a challenge.
Before an evening of wining and whining, what do you like to do to relax and unwind in your spare time?
My perfect routine is the 3 F’s: food, fan mail and fellatio. Receiving rather than giving, in every instance.
For all of the lovelorn students reading this interview, have you got any advice or words of comfort to give?
Love is an invented construct to give humanity more meaning than it is due. It is our fabled explanation of chemical overloading of the brain, designed to provide comfort for the fact that we all inevitably die alone. I hope this helps.
Reassure us: will we be able to see you at the Edinburgh Fringe again this summer?
It is looking highly likely that, given Scotland’s uncertain future, they will require someone as reliably magnificent as myself at their festival, so do not be surprised to see me there once again.
Marcel Lucont’s ‘Whine List’ is on in The Lantern at Colston Hall on 13th April. Tickets are available here.
Let us know your thoughts on this French funnyman in the comments below or on social media @EpigramArts or @Ed_Grimble