Perrier Award nominee ALEX HORNE is to embark on a 32-date national tour from 1st February 2009. Birdwatching, which played to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, sees ALEX tackle a subject that other comedians would shy away from. Having already conquered science, body language, C4’s Countdown and Latin in previous shows, this time he turns his attention to birdwatchers - or twitchers, birders, dudes, ornithologists, whatever you want to call them - a breed of enthusiasts too often ignored (perhaps feared) by the comedy world.
Already commissioned as a book - Birdwatchingwatching (to be published by Virgin on 21st January) - the show tells the tale of a year mostly spent wandering around bird reserves up and down the country in a quest to understand his father and complete the ultimate challenge in birdwatching: a ‘Big Year’.
ALEX explains: “I’m not a birdwatcher, but my Dad is. He’s been watching birds for as long as I’ve known him (over 30 years). Whenever we were in the car on family holidays he’d knock frantically on the window if we passed a kestrel hovering above the motorway and we’d all have to look up and say, ‘yes, that’s very nice, dad, well done’.”
“I was a member of the YOC when I was little and still have the shiny badge (an osprey, I think) in a drawer somewhere. But ever since the age of about seven any interest in the hobby (or hobbies) waned. That was until 2006 when I reached the same age my dad was when he had me. He was twice as old as I was (that hadn’t always been the case - when I was five, he wasn’t 10). I was old enough to be a dad myself, I was married, but I knew nothing about fatherhood - except for the fact that my own father spent all his time birdwatching.
So in an attempt to find out what it was that continues to make him tick (and twitch) I joined him on a ‘Big Year’ - a birding term for a race in which birders try to see as many species as possible in 12 months. We started our good-natured (h)ornithological competition on 1st January 2006.”
Did ALEX see more birds than his Dad? Did he learn to love birdwatching? And what have Bahrain, Birdworld and Bill Oddie all got in common? Find out in this dramatically true tale from the Perrier Award-nominee and Chortle Award-winner.
What the press has said about Birdwatching:
"Rather like a rare bird - his ostensible subject - he is a fragile delight, covering any subject with a daft, surreal charm."
Stephen Armstrong, The Sunday Times
"Much more of a progressively inclusive family comedy than your typical stand up, and the feel good factor is unrivalled… It’s well worth your while witnessing Horne’s sharp eye, quick wit and excellent audience rapport, as he effortlessly moves the boundaries of the genre itself."
Duska Radosavljevic, The Stage
"Quick, intelligent, and capable of generating wholesome laughs without falter."
Rupert Thomson, Fest
For more information and press tickets, please contact: Jenny Stewart, or Dan Lloyd. Tel: 020 7598 7222. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.alexhorne.com
WHAT THE PRESS HAS SAID ABOUT ALEX HORNE:
“Quirky, candid and engaging.”
Suzanne Black, The List
“Beautifully structured, endearingly honest... He not only entertains, amuses and impresses, but he makes you want to join in. Don’t be a pratdigger, go and see this show.”
Kate Copstick, The Scotsman
“A gentlemanly sort with a potentially impressive handlebar moustache, he displays a meticulousness bordering on obsession. Neither this, nor his love of sophisticated software, hinders or distracts from his rolling flow. He has something of Mark Heap's nervy, self-effacing bluster; take the tech away and you'd still have a tautly written, charmingly delivered show… This is almost word perfect.”
Mickey Noonan, Metro
“This is enormously captivating fun, with strong timing and brilliant humour. Well worth the honk.”
Ian Phillips, The National Student
When in Rome
“Horne has superb timing and fascinating delivery… Pure comedy gold.”
“A quick witted and genial comedian.”
Every Body Talks
“A real delight.”
Dominic Maxwell, The Times
“A subtly-structured piece of gentle genius which explores non-verbal communication, complete with pie charts, graphics and an odd picture of Ken Dodd.”
Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard
“One white male who really should have received a (Perrier) nomination is Alex Horne, who was a newcomer nominee last year and whose new show, Every Body Talks, is more ambitious in imagination and complexity. Stand-up purists may balk at the quantity of props, but this is the most inventive show I have seen this year.”
Stephanie Merritt, The Observer
“The concept is ambitious, the execution delightful and the atmosphere charming. Put simply, Every Body Talks is unlike anything else you will see on the Fringe. Which is exactly why you should go.”
Steve Bennett, Chortle
Making Fish Laugh
“Extremely well-conceived and executed, this makes for a fine hour laughing about laughter.”
Steve Jelbert, The Independent
“This delightfully daft lecture elevates him into a new league.”
Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard
“Being blinded by science has rarely seemed this fun.”
Nick Awde, The Stage
“This is a hugely impressive debut. Conditions for laughter at the fringe? Alex Horne's gig.”
Alex O'Connell, The Times
Sunday 1st - Derby Assembly Rooms Darwin Suite - 01332 255800
Tuesday 10th - Windsor The Firestation - 01753 866865
Wednesday 11th - Cambridge The Junction - 01223 511511
Thursday 12th - New Milton Forest Arts Centre - 01425 612393
Friday 13th - Leicester Phoenix (part of the Leicester Comedy Festival) - 01162 554 854
Tuesday 17th - Manchester Comedy Store - 0844 826 0001
Saturday 21st - Herefordshire Cawley Hall, Eye - 01568 615836
Sunday 22nd - Bath The Ustinov - 01225 448844
Monday 23rd - Street The Strode Theatre - 01458 442846
Wednesday 4th - Brighton Komedia - 0845 293 8480
Sunday 8th - Norfolk Kings Lynn Arts Centre - 01553 764864
Tuesday 10th - Norwich Arts Centre - 01603 660352
Wednesday 11th - Saturday 14th - London Soho Theatre - 020 7478 0100
Sunday 15th - Edinburgh The Stand - 0131 558 7272
Monday 16th - Glasgow The Stand (part of the Glasgow Comedy Festival) - 0870 600 6055
Thursday 19th - Nr Bridgewater Stawell Village Hall - 01278 722 914
Friday 20th - Isle of Man Villa Marina - 01624 694 555
Tuesday 24th - Telford Oakengates Theatre @ The Place - 01952 382 382
Thursday 26th - Taunton Tacchi Morris Arts Centre - 01823 414141
Friday 27th - Bridgend The Grand Pavillion - 01656 815 995
Monday 30th - Eaglescliffe Hilarity Bites - 01642 780 465
Tuesday 31st - Milton Keynes The Stables - 01908 280 800
Wednesday 1st - Lydford Nicholls Hall - 01822 820 345
Thursday 2nd - Scoriton Village Hall - 01364 631 288
Friday 3rd - Broadclyst Victory Hall - 01392 461 302
Saturday 4th - Bigbury Memorial Hall - 01548 810 373
Sunday 5th - Berrynarbor Manor Hall - 01805 603 201
Wednesday 8th - Cheltenham Town Hall - 0844 576 2210
Thursday 9th - Reading South Street - 0118 960 6060
ALEX HORNE has established a reputation among critics, comics and audiences as a thoughtful and original stand-up, writer and solo performer.
ALEX burst onto the scene in 2003 with a Perrier Best Newcomer Award-nomination for Making Fish Laugh, his interactive Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut stand-up show. The show was subsequently transferred to the Soho Theatre to critical acclaim. In 2004 he returned to the Fringe with Every Body Talks, and went on to win the ‘Best Breakthrough Act’ at the 2004 Chortle Awards. This was followed by When In Rome in 2005, which ALEX then toured nationally.
The last 18 months has seen ALEX: bring his fourth solo show, Birdwatching to the Fringe; collaborate with OWEN POWELL on The World In One City, a year-long project which aimed to prove that London is the most cosmopolitan city in the world; and perform the first ever stand up gig on the 3-D virtual world platform Second Life. Other recent credits include: 28 Acts in 28 Minutes (BBC Radio 4); Classical Comedy, a documentary with NATALIE HAYNES (BBC Radio 4); and Technofile (Sky News). Alex is currently working on a pilot of We Need Answers, a comedy panel show starring TIM KEY and MARK WATSON for BBC TWO.
Avalon Promotions Limited is best known for its presentation of live comedy. The last year has seen LEE MACK, AL MURRAY - THE PUB LANDLORD, RUSSELL HOWARD, RICHARD HERRING, Edinburgh and Beyond, and Grumpy Old Women Live on sell-out tours around the UK, with the Grumpy Old Women Live also embarking on a hugely successful tour of Australia. Avalon also produced and promoted Jerry Springer - The Opera at the National Theatre, at the Cambridge Theatre in London’s West End and on national tour. Among many others, Avalon Promotions has staged: HARRY HILL at the Palace and Dominion Theatres in London; Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure at the Sydney Opera House, the Edinburgh Festival, on UK tour and at the Village Theatre, New York (nominated for Drama Desk Award 2004); AL MURRAY’s West End runs of My Gaff My Rules and A Glass of White Wine For the Lady (twice nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment); Richard Herring’s Christ on a Bike and ménage à un at the Arts Theatre London; Are You Dave Gorman? at the Westbeth Theatre, New York (nominated for Drama Desk Award and winner of Time Out’s Best Comedy 2001); Baddiel & Skinner Unplanned at the Shaftesbury Theatre London; Frank Skinner Live at The Palladium; and Grumpy Old Women Live at the Lyric Theatre. In 1993 Avalon Promotions presented NEWMAN & BADDIEL to a sold-out audience of 12,000 in the first comedy show ever to be staged at Wembley Arena. This was followed by FRANK SKINNER performing to a record-breaking audience of 6,000 at the Battersea Power Station. To date, Avalon has promoted five Perrier Award-winners, and presented 15 Perrier Award and if.comedy Award-nominees.