The much-anticipated Arrested Development movie will be made this year and he “apparently” has a part; his alter-ego Brian Butterfield is lining up his own chatshow. An audience of Peter Serafinowicz geeks – chic geeks, natch – got plenty of goss for their buck at the latest In Conversation event held at St George’s Hall at the weekend. There was gossip, music, memories and proper old-fashioned chat show entertainment as the comic talked through his life and career under questioning from actor Mike Neary.
True to the Club Geek Chic ethos, the evening provided a real alternative to the usual ents offer in town. It wasn’t the first event of their series, but it was certainly the most high profile to date, and the buzz around it was palpable. Maybe not everyone knows the name Peter Serafinowicz, but those who do know, know a lot about his work. This was a real treat.
And the funny thing is, the Gatacre-raised comedian proved such an endlessly fascinating subject even an evening with him is hardly enough. Recently, I was left gutted when a quick publicity interview barely scratched the surface of all the things I wanted to ask him, but it turned out even a couple of hours can’t squeeze in all the little cult projects and strings he has to his bow. Clips from Look Around You, I’m Alan Partridge, The Peter Serafinowicz Show, and his own short Markets of Britain were big topics of conversation, with a smattering of Star Wars (the actor voiced baddy Darth Maul) and Spaced. Not much was made of his advancing US comedy career, except for a question asked by a member of the audience at the end.
Club Geek Chic organisers Gemma Aldcroft and Karen Podesta did a great job making the event as inclusive and warm as possible. The venue has rarely seemed so comfortable, intimate and friendly. Then again, a lot of this atmosphere probably came from the guest of honour himself, whose sweet and exciteable nature shone through throughout. Full of great anecdotes and impressions, you could see him waving excited hellos to his family in the audience, and his gratitude to the other performers on the night was clearly genuine. There was a such lovely, positive celebratory vibe to the whole evening, it was easy to feel part of something very special.
The musical choices also helped to elevate an already memorable evening, as special guests performed their own adaptations of Serafinowicz’s favourite songs. Singer-songwriter Alex Berger (brother of MP Luciana) did Steely Dan’s Reelin’ in the Years; guitarist Neil Campbell and Sense of Sound choir’s Perri Alleyne-Hughes teamed up for an inspirational cover of Gary Numan’s Cars, and rockers Gary Brown and Terry Stears performed a simple, yet rousing Helter Skelter. Ensemble group Laura James and the Lyres had two – Deerhunter’s Desirelines and The Smith’s How Soon is Now.There was also a sneak peak of a new video Serafinowicz has directed, for the Swedish House Mafia’s new single.
Club Geek Chic had been chasing Serafinowicz for some time to bring him home for this one-off event and, despite initial reticence and some modesty on his part, on the night he effortlessly stepped up to the challenge to provide an evening of wonderful company with a sprinkle of old school variety glamour – and a city fell in in love.
Best Serafinowicz sketch ever: