Marcel Lucont has been making a name for himself recently on the British comedy circuit. Having made appearances on the likes of Russell Howard’s Good News, John Bishop’s Christmas Show and Set List the debonair Frenchman captivates his audiences with grace, wit and a hint of good natured (well, I think it is) condescension. Ahead of his appearance at the Bike Shed Theatre this Sunday, with his new show Whine List, Mr Lucont was kind enough to answer a few questions, about himself and his career, giving a taste of his worldly wisdom and allowing us a glimpse behind the wine glass and turtleneck.
Why did you choose to come over to the UK?
Perhaps I was feeling lazy, but it does help to be performing in a country where so many of the jokes are already written for you the moment you walk out of the door.
Are there any particular British customs you’ve found it hard to adapt to, or don’t understand?
To cheer whenever a glass of alcohol is dropped by an idiot is something I could never fully understand, until I sampled British beer and suddenly it was clear, although why you order it in the first place is still a mystery.
What, in your mind, are the major differences between France and the UK?
In France, life’s pleasures are what we live for, if we can fit time for work around them then we do. In the UK it seems more the thing to work until you die, fitting in meals and adventure if you can.
You are known as a bit of wine connoisseur. As students, alcohol is one of those things we hold near and dear to our hearts, can you talk us through some of your favourite vintages?
Well, one could start with a 2003 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin. I find this is the perfect wine to introduce to an orgy that is slow to start. Or if you are seeking a decent breakfast wine, a Domaine Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne white will do no wrong. Also I do recall a Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 2003 being particularly pleasurable at a very hazy Cannes Film Festival one year, stolen by a colleague from some Americans, who I am certain would have appreciated it less than us.
You are also known as a bit of a lady’s man – Have you got any dating tips for our readers?
I am asked this often, as I am aware that tricks are required in British courtship to make up for natural charm. Mystery is important always. Perhaps turn up with something that will leave her guessing, such as a notebook with her name on it, a poem half-written upon your arm, or another woman. This will sort out the curious and interesting from the time-wasters.
In terms of fashion you have crafted a distinct image for yourself over the years. However, I do have to ask, why the lack of footwear?
I have an exquisite range of footwear. Unless you followed me home, the last time you saw me was no doubt on a stage, indoors. Removing shoes indoors is a little thing the French like to call “etiquette,” something we invented. Perhaps the word is yet to reach Exeter…
As a comedian hecklers are part and parcel with the territory, have you had any particularly memorable occurrences over the years?
A man in Northampton once shouted to me (they usually shout, as nobody will listen to them at a standard volume), before I had even reached the microphone “Do you remember Agincourt?” I had to respond that, no, I did not remember a 15th century battle, being born in the 20th century, although I may have implied that he should ask his mother of its finer details.
Have you got any tips for aspiring comics?
If you are aspiring you are already trying too hard. Give up.
Can you talk us through the premise of the show you are bringing to Exeter: Whine List?
“Whine List” is different from my previous shows, in that it involves the audience (don’t worry, the focus is still definitely on me). We will be talking through some of the worst life experiences of those in the theatre that night. I should add that there will be no solutions from me, it will be like a group therapy experience, but one where we potentially all leave more depressed.
Who would you say is the target market for your show?
Anyone willing to laugh at the shit that life often throws at us, which, given the current state of the planet, should be everybody.
To finish off, you have quite the reputation as a wordsmith. Can we have a sample of some of your famous prose for our readers?
You can get so much more than a sample by purchasing the magnificent album “Vive Lucont!,” available in most discerning record stores, or for those yet to purchase a disc player, I believe it is also available to download from the ether.
Marcel Lucont’s Whine List comes to the Bike Shed Theatre on Sunday 2nd April. Tickets available at: https://www.bikeshedtheatre.co.uk/shows/marcel-luconts-whine-list/