Comedian Mitch Benn brings his new stand up show to MillField Theatre this weekend. We spoke to him to find out more…

What is your 2017 tour about?

Death and mortality. It’s the one thing that unites us and yet the one thing we don’t want to talk about. So I thought I’d crack a bunch of jokes and sing some songs about it.

What was the inspiration behind the name, Don’t Fear the Reaper?

Aside from the obvious (if you’re an old rock bore like me) Blue Oyster Cult reference it was the fact that the slew of famous people dying last year got me thinking about my own mortality and mortality in general. It’s the one thing that truly unites us but the last thing we want to talk about it. So I decided to crack a bunch of jokes and sing some songs about it instead.

You have many strings to your bow including writing two sci fi novels - have you always been a fan and were you a Trekkie or a Star Wars boffin?

As far back as I can remember I’ve always been into SF; I was into Trek BEFORE I was into Star Wars as I was watching Trek repeats on the BBC from about the age of 3 and Star Wars didn’t come out until I was nearly 8. My main thing is Doctor Who though.

Was music all around when you were growing up in Liverpool, do you come from a musical family or were your influences external?

Very musical if not professionally so, with a couple of exceptions. Don’t think I’m related to anybody who can’t play SOMETHING. And I grew up in Liverpool in the 70s, wading through the debris of the Mersey Sound and Beatlemania.

When was the moment you realised you could combine music with comedy, and more importantly, you were good at it?

I first did stand up at the age of 21 in Montréal, Canada (long story) and incorporated music and songwriting right from the get go as it never really occurred to me not to. As for whether I’m any good at it, I leave it to others to decide.

You’ve done a few shows to musical heroes such as Dylan, Elvis etc etc. Do you poke fun at them or is it your way of paying homage?

Well in the case of the radio shows I did, the ones about Dylan, Bowie and Elvis (following on from the one I did about the Beatles) it was absolutely both. You can love something while still being very aware of its more ridiculous aspects.

When did you first think ‘Comedy - that’s the job for me’

After I’d already been doing it for about a year. In my generation you don’t find many comics who always wanted to do this when we grew up; most of us seem to have gotten side tracked into it while trying to do other things. Younger comics will have grown up in an era when comedy was seen as rather sexier so maybe more of them will have wanted to be comedians when they were kids.

Millfield Theatre, Silver St, Edmonton, N18 1PJ, Friday, September 22, 7.45pm.