Grayson Perry talks about his latest show at City Hall, Sheffield, tonight - Typical Man in a Dress...
Q-Let’s talk about the show – what could audiences expect to get out of it?
A-When I do a show I’m aware my main fault is I try to pack too much information in; and so I’m trying to put together a show that is entertaining, where the audience are not overburdened with information.
Hopefully it will be funny but I’m not somebody who overly prepares; my best jokes are normally in the moment and so I put together images and ideas about masculinity and gender and hope we have a fun ride – that’s all I can promise!
Q-The show is going to Bristol, London, Manchester, Worthing and of course Sheffield - are you expecting different receptions?
A-I am quite wary of playing Sheffield, Worthing and Manchester because I am a member of the metropolitan elite and obviously post-Brexit I’m going to have to make jokes about who voted leave!
It’s a glorious moment in British comedy. Brexit has been a gift because it’s given the chattering classes such a hammering and that amuses me greatly. Of course they are my home audience!
Q-And are you expecting the view of masculinity to be different in different places?
A-I’m not going to kid myself that the people who really need to read my book or see my show are going to read my book or see my show.
As I say in the introduction if I really wanted to get through to these men I’d plaster it across a football shirt or down the side of a racing car. They don’t read books.
Q-Do you think there’s a North/South divide or some kind of divide?
A-I don’t think there’s a divide between northern and southern men – I’ve met sensitive men all over the country.
There might be stronger class traditions in parts but I don’t think middle classes of North London have a monopoly on male sensitivity.
Q-Why this subject? What’s the one thing that has galvanised the book, the TV, the show?
A-Masculinity is such an important subject; it underlies everything.
Gender is at the basement level of our identities and men are causing all the ‘aggro’; we need to examine what it is to be a man.
Being a transvestite, and experience with male role models has made me very aware.
I’m interested in crystallising awareness about the unconscious every day.
That’s the drive, why I’ve done class, why I did identity, they’re things I see out the café window.