Andy de la Tour joins Miles Jupp to discuss adventure in Stratford

Andy de la Tour will be discussing his new book with Miles Jupp at the Stratford Picturehouse.

Andy de la Tour will be discussing his new book with Miles Jupp at the Stratford Picturehouse. - Credit: Archant

Two comedians who took a massive leap of faith abroad will be arriving in Stratford next week to discuss their efforts in front of a live audience.

Front cover of "Stand Up or Die" by Andy de la Tour.

Front cover of "Stand Up or Die" by Andy de la Tour. - Credit: Archant

Andy de la Tour, a screen favourite in diverse roles from Richard Curtis’ Notting Hill to Polanski’s Oliver Twist as well as a stand up comedian alongside the likes of Ben Elton and Rik Mayall, embarked on an adventure in 2010 to “make it” in comedy in New York.

When Andy returned, he decided to record his mishaps and miraculous successes in a memoir entitled “Stand Up or Die”.

But Andy thought it would be funnier to promote it alongside his fellow comedian and actor Miles Jupp as it just so happens Miles is releasing his memoir “Fibber in the Heat” around the same time.

The pair are also currently performing in Alan Bennett’s new play, “People”, currently showing at the National Theatre on the Southbank.

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In the production, Andy plays the eccentric part of a particularly short-sighted Archbishop who literally stumbles on to the set of an adult film. But what is it like working with a national treasure like Alan Bennett?

“It’s just smashing. He was there a lot during rehearsals and he’s just such a benign presence to have around.

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“He’s a really fantastic person to work with.”

But one of the advantages of working at the National Theatre, explains Andy, is the time off.

Several plays are shown intermittently in the four auditoriums leaving the actors up to two weeks off at a time to rest or, in Andy’s case, go to Venezuela for a few days to oversee the Presidential elections.

He laughs: “They invited me actually! They’ve invited a number of delegates from other countries and I’ve been a vocal supporter of causes and their government in the past so I imagine that’s why.

“It just so happened to coincide with a break at the National so I thought, why not? I’ll go to Venezuela!”

On his return, Andy will be performing a one-off comedy evening with Miles reading passages of their books at the Stratford Picturehouse - the first time Andy’s been back to the area since his first play was shown at the Theatre Royal in 1985.

Not only is he doing the gig with a friend - it also came about through an old friend of his wife’s who also happens to be Vivian Archer, the manager of Newham Bookshop.

He said: “It’s basically going to be us asking each other about each other’s books. They are completely different but similar in the way that they’re about two people wanting an adventure.

“I wasn’t doing stand up at the time, I used to do a lot in the ‘80s, but I gave up in 1990.

“So I had to completely update my routine and I went to New York with my partner Susie and just thought I’d try being a stand up there.

“Miles went out to India to try and be a cricket journalist which was a completely different change of direction for him.”

Andy spent three months in total trying to raise a smile in the Big Apple to varying degrees of success until his visa ran out - but he couldn’t stay away and has returned twice since.

He added: “Yes, Americans can laugh at themselves. Especially if you’re saying it in a refined British accent.

“I made fun of the way they love our Royal Family. Every time I think about that, it makes me smile and I think they really enjoyed that.

“I mostly did a lot of topical, satirical stuff about what was going on in America at the time.

“I wanted to tell people what it was like trying to have an adventure like this in a foreign city.

“The book’s also about New York itself because it’s such an amazing city.”

Newham Bookshop presents Andy de la Tour in conversation with Miles Jupp at the Stratford Picturehouse, Salway Road, Stratford, E15 1BX at 7pm on Tuesday April 23.

Tickets £5 from Stratford Picturehouse on 0871 902 5740 or visit or click on the link on the right-hand side bar.

“Stand Up or Die” by Andy de la Tour is published by Oberon Books and is out now RRP £7.99.

“Fibber in the Heat” by Miles Jupp is published by Ebury Press and is out now RRP £10.99.

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