Super-schmuck Omid can't keep away from CFT

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Cast members and the trio of dogs chosen. Credit: West Meon Theatre

Trio of prized pooches picked for upcoming theatre show

Despite playing 110 dates of his solo tour Schmuck For A Night across the UK and then starring all through the summer in the Chichester Festival Theatre's hit production of Fiddler On The Roof, Omid Djalili has clearly not had enough of either.

The award-winning stand-up and actor returns to the CFT for a brace of dates as part of an extension of his Schmuck tour. 

The British-Iranian comic has already been a schmuck for more than 100 nights,so how was touring the show last year?

'It was truly an honor to do 110 dates. The producers of the TV show Undateables said soon as my tour is over I can come back and do another 110 dates,' says Omid.

What can audiences expect from the show?

'It's a comedy roller-coaster. But you have to be a certain height to take the ride. If you're shorter than my hips you won't be let in.'

Were you driven to take the show back on the road for a new batch of autumn/winter dates by the ever-changing political climate?

'I had to come back. There are heckles dating back to October 2016 that I still need to respond to.'

Did he find it tricky to constantly keep the show fresh when touring earlier in the year or did the news provide a constant source of ripe comedic material?

'All my material is frozen immediately after it's written so it's always fresh.'

How much had the material changed from the first to last show?

'Some of it had thawed and was starting to smell.'

What was the schmuck-iest thing he did on the last leg of the tour?

'Well that was when I was forced to eat everything in my freezer without defrosting to make room for my jokes. It took hours and I got ill. But the jokes stayed fresh and that's all that matters.'

As part of your role as Tevye in Fiddler he had to sing and dance – can audiences expect him to be infusing that showmanship into your stand-up this autumn?

'Absolutely. Audiences have been known to riot if I don't sing and dance. Well maybe just in Charlottesville.'

What are the differences in his own creative processes of putting together a stand-up show and being involved in a musical theatre production?

'The differences are huge. In musicals, you need laser-like precision to get words and songs right or the show collapses. In stand-up all I have to hope for is the audience don't recommend me for immediate deportation.'

In late 2016, he filmed a live-action Disney adaptation of The Nutcracker, which is expected to be released this coming November.

'Helen Mirren was with us for a day and was very nurturing and motherly.

'Especially towards me.

'When she noticed I was uncomfortable and kept tugging at the groin area of my trousers she advised me never to run out of clean underwear and avoid wearing my teenage son’s swimming trunks a) because they are too small and b) chlorine from the swimming pool will always cause itching. I’ll never forget that.

'Amazing woman.'