Funnyman Sean Lock set to perform at Middlesbrough Town Hall

Sean Lock (s)
Sean Lock (s)

FUNNYMAN Sean Lock returns to the region next month with his hit new stand up-show - the Purple Van Man tour.

The popular comic - who has performed two sell-out shows in Hartlepool in recent years - is heading back to the North East to perform at Middlesbrough Town Hall on Tuesday, July 23.

October this year marks his 25th year as a stand-up comedian but he shows no signs of slowing down.

The 50-year-old worked as a labourer in his early years, doing the odd gig as a hobby, but he soon realised it was the path he wanted to go down for a career.

Sean has performed up and down the country over the years but still harbours ambitions of one day performing his routine in America, while he also hopes to pen a sitcom.

But for now he is more than happy touring UK venues and cannot wait for his trip back to our part of the world with his show, which features observational comedy and surreal humour.

He is reluctant to talk about what is included in his set as he said it always sounds “boring on paper” but he said: “Trust me, it will be funny.”

Sean first appeared in Hartlepool at the 2009 Dockfest event - a warm-up to the 2010 Tall Ships Races - and he returned to town in the Autumn of 2010 to perform at the Borough Hall, on the Headland.

He said: “I’m looking forward to returning to the North East, the crowds are always good and really up for it.

“I enjoyed my performances in Hartlepool, the Dockfest was the warm up to the Tall Ships event and that was a great night.

“The last time I played Middlesbrough was a bank holiday and they certainly know how to celebrate a bank holiday.”

Sean said it takes him about a year to write his tour material - as he always has more than he needs in order to keep it fresh - before touring the country for 12-months and then takes a year off.

He said: “In October it will be 25 years since my first performance in a pub in Hackney and it started off as a hobby really.

“It does take a long time to write, I probably make it hard for myself, but there is a lot of pressure as you have to make a room full of people laugh, night after night.”

Due to phenomenal demand since March, his Purple Van Man show will continue to tour throughout the summer, including Middlesbrough.

Sean said: “We all know what ‘white van man’ thinks about the world we live in but it’s time to hear a different voice, purple van man’s voice.

“White van man is such a patronising term, this image that they all think the same way if their job involves power tools.

“The name of show doesn’t really mean anything but it is basically a play on that.

“It is always very hard to describe what will be in the show but it seems to have gone down very well so far.”

The show is filled with gags, opinions and deft observations with Sean spouting “inspired jibber jabber” as he crosses the country in his purple van.

As well as being well known for his stand-up, he is a regular on BBC One’s Live At The Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and is a team captain on Channel 4 panel show, 8 Out of 10 Cats.

For ticket information about his upcoming gig at Middlesbrough Town Hall log onto www.middlesbroughtownhallonline.co.uk

- by Richard Mennear