Q&A: Geoff

The only outwardly conservative comic on the circuit talks about bringing his show Conswervative to the Lowry, Salford, 21 May

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Given your working-class background, what caused you to swerve into conservatism?
I think I was born like it. I remember even at nine years old judging all the parents on my estate sitting around in dressing gowns at three in the afternoon. My childhood views would’ve made Michael Gove seem like a hippy.

A lot of artists and performers have historically benefitted from benefits to give them the freedom to create. Won’t Tory benefit cuts hinder creativity?
I guess if I was a proper Tory I’d be pleased at the lack of competition that’ll create.

How do you feel about arts spending cuts and the decreasing focus on arts in schools?

Voting for a party isn’t a blanket endorsement of every single policy. Plenty of Labour voters still supported them after both Iraq and tuition fees. As far as arts in schools go, I’ve very little sympathy for those teachers. But that’s only because as a former English teacher their lesson planning always seemed way less time consuming than mine.

What’s it like to be a lone conservative comic in a liberal arts scene?

I’m not the only one, though I probably spend the most time banging on about it. They’re all quite nice to me really. Which is annoying, because this answer would be a lot funnier if I could tell tales of being no-platformed in dressing rooms.

Manchester had the strongest Remain vote in the North West – what do you think your audience will make of the show as you’re a Leaver?
But 40 per cent of Mancunians voted to Leave. Which could also be a problem for me if the gig starts going badly.

What have audience reactions been like so far?
My show isn’t heavy or preachy so the reaction has been great around the country. Nevertheless, winning over a hard left crowd is the most enjoyable challenge, as I know they’ll go away hating themselves. With Manchester’s political traditions I’ll have my work cut out. I can’t be any less popular than when Tory party conference was here….can I?

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