The comedian chatted to Emma Clarendon about his creation Christopher Bliss’ new play I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife.
Hi Rob – what can audiences expect from ‘I Spy With My Little Eye’?
The best worst play in the world. It’s as if a rural Garth Marenghi wrote a stage version of The Room, and got an energetic child to direct it.
How does it feel to bring Christopher Bliss back to life again?
I’m genuinely worried at how readily available the character of a deluded oddball is to me at the moment, and I’m starting to think that Christopher is closer to the real me than I am. It’s great doing a whole week as you really get comfortable with the character, and I’ll have Christopher’s phone on me in the daytimes if anyone wants to call or text him – 07751 700154!
What do you think it is about the character Chris that makes him popular with audiences?
I think there’s a sense of ‘Thank God I’m not that guy’ when you watch Christopher Bliss. It taps into the guilty pleasure inside all of us of wanting to see someone make a fool of themselves, and Christopher is so unbelievably unaware of his own lack of talent that it puts our problems in context. I’m always amazed at how many large groups come to the shows too. I think there’s something bonding about coming together to egg on an idiot.
How did the idea for the play itself come about?
It felt like the logical next step for Christopher. He’s done novels, he’s made a short film, and theatre felt like the next big thing. Also, having mainly performed short novels as Christopher, I relished the challenge of tackling something so far outside Christopher’s comfort zone. Performing a whole theatre show with other actors, props, costumes, lighting and sound cues was too exciting an opportunity to turn down.
If you had to pass on any writing advice to Chris – what would you say?
I would tell him he’s my favourite writer and that I can’t wait to see what he produces next. Then I’d tell all my friends how bad he was, buy tickets for them all to see him at the Soho Theatre and laugh at him behind his back.
By Emma Clarendon
I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife: A Play by Christopher Bliss will play at the Soho Theatre from 23 to 27 April 2019.