Comedian Omid Djalili dwells on relationships, overcoming fears, the perils of celebrity and getting older in his new show.
The British-born Iranian comic and actor is bringing his show, called Iranalamadingdong, to the Epsom Playhouse in September.
Djalili has won plaudits for his appearances on stage and screen, including playing Fagin in musical Oliver! and Mahmud Nasir in the Infidel and appearing in Moonfleet alongside Ray Winstone.
Djalili says: "I’ve done lots of different things and enjoyed them but stand-up, when it goes well - it often doesn’t - is definitely a love.
"There’s something deeply satisfying about a good gig. I’m not often happy with myself as an actor. I get upset when I see myself acting on screen, mostly because of the way I look.
"But as a stand-up it’s always a bonus if you look heavy or awkward or damaged - in my case it helps in fact.
"When I was working on Moonfleet last summer Ray Winstone told me, ‘I don’t feel I come alive on set until I’ve done a fight scene and thrown my first right hook’.
"Similarly, I don’t really feel I’ve come to life unless I’ve triggered laughter from a crowd. It’s probably an illness, a comedian’s illness.
"But I don’t panic like I used to. If a joke misses or backfires I know there’s a hundred more on their way.
"But it’s strange, I’m getting more serious off stage and savour even more the times when I’m on it. There’s always something in my mind telling me ‘enjoy it while you can, this isn’t going to last much longer."
He adds: "One of the themes I will be covering is growing older. We all struggle with it. As Dave Allen once said, ‘I enjoy getting older. I have to, because there’s no choice’.
"When you hit your forties you understand life better, but at the same time your body is more prone to fail. So you have to find a way of joining your received wisdom with physical prowess.
"A lot of men who hit 40 try to do things that make them feel more alive because they want to prove themselves."
Omid Djalili - Iranalamadingdong
Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue, Epsom