Omid Djalili brings his Schmuck for a Night show to St Albans
PUBLISHED: 16:20 14 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:20 14 November 2016
Award-winning comedian and actor Omid Djalili returns to the county next week with his latest stand-up tour.
The British-Iranian brings his new show, Schmuck For a Night, to St Albans for two dates at The Alban Arena next week.
Of trying to make sense of the world around him in Schmuck For a Night, Omid said: “It’ll be so current sometimes audiences won’t laugh until they get home and turn on the TV.”
As a stand-up and acclaimed actor, Omid’s credits range from Hollywood movies and television to live productions on the West End stage.
He has appeared on UK and US TV, and starred in films such as Shaun the Sheep Movie, Mr Nice, Gladiator, Sex And The City 2, The Mummy and The Infidel.
Omid might now be known to millions for his roles in Hollywood blockbusters and West End appearances.
But he started his career in fringe theatre, moving on to the theatres of Central and Eastern Europe in the early 90s, and then the alternative comedy circuit.
And although he’s swapped dingy pub rooms for the big theatres, it’s still live on stage doing stand-up where he’s at his best.
Of his new show’s title, he said: “I like the word ‘schmuck’. It means ‘fool’ or buffoon. You have to be a schmuck to do comedy in today’s climate.
“I’m embracing the schmuck in me to take on the big issues of our day.”
The show is also mellower than his previous tours.
“I’ve become less frenetic,” said Omid. “I used to dance every two minutes in between the stand-up. I can’t even remember why.
“It was mentioned to me that when I danced audiences were laughing at me not with me. So it was either stop dancing or ban my manager from the gigs.”
Omid produced a show known as the ‘Iraq Out & Loud’ project at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, which involved reading the Chilcot report in full, 24 hours a day.
The production was awarded the prestigious Panel Prize at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, and later TV Bomb’s Zeitgeist Award.
Omid said: “It took 285 hours and 1,444 people to read it. I read too. It was a truly one-off experience.”
He has also been cast in Disney’s new live-action production of The Nutcracker alongside Morgan Freeman and Keira Knightley.
He will be filming while on tour. Omid added: “Once in Barnet years ago I was late so didn’t change and came straight to the theatre from the set of The Mummy at Shepperton Studios and walked straight on stage in my film costume.
“I went on stage in full 1930s Egyptian prison warden garb. I even heard a crowd member say, ‘well at least he’s making an effort’.”
Omid Djalili can be seen at The Alban Arena in St Albans on Monday, November 21 at 7.30pm and Saturday, November 26 at 8pm.
Tickets cost £24.
• To buy tickets, call the Alban Arena box office on 01727 844488 or book online at www.alban-arena.co.uk