SIMON Amstell will play the Grand Opera House, York, on September 25 on the introspective, abjectly honest comedian, television host, actor, writer and filmmaker’s 38-date Spirit Hole autumn tour.
These shows add up to his first stand-up comedy travels since the 2019 release of his debut bittersweet comedy-drama film, Benjamin, written and directed by Amstell, and his soul-searching 2019 Netflix stand-up special, Set Free.
Agent provocateur Amstell, 41, will deliver a “blissful, spiritual, sensational exploration of love, sex, shame, mushrooms and more” on a tour with further Yorkshire gigs at The Leadmill, Sheffield, on September 12 and Leeds Town Hall on October 1. York tickets are on sale at atgtickets.com/venues/grand-opera-house-york/; York, Sheffield and Leeds at ticketmaster.com.
Amstell, former saucy host of cult BBC2 pop quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks, previously played the Grand Opera House in May 2008, October 2009 on his Do Nothing tour and May 2012 on his Numb tour.
Six facts about Simon Amstell
Born: Gants Hill, Ilford, Essex, November 29 1979.
Comedy breakthrough: After making stand-up debut at 13 in the wake of parents’ divorce, complicated childhood and confusion aroused by puberty, he became youngest finalist in BBC New Comedy Awards in 1998.
Presenting roles: Nickolodeon (sacked for being “sarcastic and mean to children”, he says); Popworld, Channel 4; and Never Mind The Buzzcocks, BBC2.
TV series: Grandma’s House, from 2010, playing Simon, a mildly self-obsessed, claustrophobic narcissist, trying desperately to heal his broken family in order to feel something real in his life.
Book: Help, subtitled Comedy. Tragedy. Therapy., published in January 2019, with Amstell’s aim of “telling the truth so it can’t hurt me anymore”, driven by compulsion to reveal his entire self on stage. Loneliness, anxiety, depression feature prominently, but you will “then feel happier than you have ever been”.
Film: Carnage, about veganism, written, directed and narrated by Amstell, set in utopian 2067, where animals live equally among humans. Premiered on BBC in March 2017.