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Alistair Barrie

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Actor, Writer and Stand-Up Comedian

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About Alistair

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As a comedian, actor and keynote speaker Alistair Barrie is a natural performer, in great demand all over the world. His humour and charisma have a great effect on audiences and he never fails to entertain different kinds of people, organizations and companies with performances specifically tailored to each individual occasion.

Comedian, actor and writer Alistair Barrie is one of the most sought after performers on the international comedy circuit. He has worked throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as the States, Australia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, South Africa, Estonia, Mumbai, The Channel Islands, Antibes, Cyprus, Crete, Luxembourg, Qatar, Belgium, Prague, Dubai, Doha, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Norway, Hong Kong, Macau, Malta, Singapore, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Egypt and Athens, on a ship in the North Sea and at the world’s highest gig on top of a mountain in France.

Alistair is a core member of The Cutting Edge team at London’s Comedy Store and has made numerous radio and television appearances around the world. A regular at corporate events and festivals, he has taken six solo shows to the Edinburgh Festival – his 2012 show ‘Urban Fogey’ was runner up for best show in the Amused Moose Laughter Awards – and appeared in the hit plays ‘Breaker Morant’ with Adam Hills and ‘Coalition’ with Phill Jupitus, which transferred to London after its Edinburgh run. He created and compered ‘Bye George,’ the comedians’ farewell to George W. Bush, at the Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2009 and has performed in some of the country’s most prestigious theatres including The Bloomsbury, Lyceum, Harold Pinter, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Oxford New Theatre and The Manchester Opera House. He has written for the BBC, Channel 4, Radio 4 and a number of other comedians.

Alongside former Perrier nominee Nick Revell, Alistair co-produces, writes and performs in ‘No Pressure to be Funny,’ a monthly topical show and podcast presented by LBC’s James O’Brien, which was taken to Edinburgh in 2012 for a Festival special in association with Amnesty International. In January 2014 the show transferred from Soho Theatre to The Phoenix in Cavendish Square – the opening night was Critics’ Choice in The Guardian, Time Out and The Telegraph who described it as ‘the fringe’s answer to Question Time’.

Alistair also regularly reviews restaurants for his Food Ponce blog.

Read some of Alistair Barrie’s testimonials here!

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Interview with Alistair Barrie

What types of audiences typically book you?

Well, I’ve just got back from performing for the troops in Afghanistan where I played to Brits, Americans, Australians, Turks, Romanians, Macedonians and a few other nationalities I probably didn’t know about. Before that I was at the Comedy Cellar in New York on a bill that featured American stand-up legend Louis CK and next month I am hosting an international blogging conference at The Barbican in London, before flying off to do a televised Unicef benefit in Greece and then popping in to Budapest for a gig on the way home. So I think we can say there is no typical audience. It might be better to ask which audiences don’t book me, but unfortunately I never get to hear about them.

What types of performances do you offer?

I’m primarily a stand up, so hopefully amusing ones. There have been awards ceremonies where I’ve felt more like a cheerleader, but someone has to keep things moving along. On the whole, it depends on the event – if you want me to provide an after dinner comedy set, I’m more than happy, but I’m equally at home with presentations or trying to get the drunk people from accounts to sit back down so we can do the next award.

What is your favorite experience as a performer/speaker?

Too many to choose from really. The first time I got an encore at The Belfast Empire (a notoriously tough comedy club) stands out, especially when you’ve got an accent like mine. On the whole though, it’s probably the travel and the variety that I enjoy most. Coming from the Intercontinental in Singapore straight to the Ibis in Cardiff (guess which was the more glamorous,) or playing great comedy clubs in Australia, America or the Middle East.

I will always love coming home to play The Comedy Store in London, but I’ve performed to International Oil executives in Stavanger while another load of International Oil Executives watched on a video feed in a different room. I did a month in Capetown’s biggest theatre, I’ve played on top of a mountain, with many of my heroes and on enormous West End stages. And every now and then you get to perform on the Croisette in Cannes and order whatever you want from room service. Although that doesn’t happen all that often.

How does humour factor into your talks?

As a comedian, I hope fairly highly. If it doesn’t, it’s probably the wrong booking, although, like most comedians, I’m sure you could find the odd audience member who doesn’t think humour factors in my talks at all.

What do clients typically say about you after an event?

I have no idea. They’re usually very complimentary to my face, but who knows what they say when you leave?

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Keynote topics with Alistair Barrie