'Stand-up bored me'

Why Lee's happy off the circuit

Stewart Lee has admitted he used to get so bored with stand-up that he would deliberately disrupt his routine - just for the thrill getting it back on track.

He came close to quitting performing because, after 14 years on the circuit, it presented no new challenges.

"I'd deliberately throw the show," he told London's Time out magazine, "I'd sabotage myself, just for the fun of working it round again."

"I'd reached a stage where I was never nervous nor particularly happy when I'd finished the show. I always felt safe"

However, he says his interest was revivied by his latest show Pea Green Boat, which is more storytelling than traditional stand-up. And working on Jerry Springer: The Opera, which opens at the National Theatre this spring, also came as a relief from the stand-up circuit.

Pea Green Boat, loosely based around the life and work of Edward Lear, is at the Battersea Arts Centre for the next three weekends.

Published: 29 Jan 2003

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