Alan Partridge is to embark on a UK arena tour to heal a “scissored isle” that is less united than ever.
In the new stage show Stratagem, Steve Coogan will once more don the blazer of the indefatigable broadcaster as he ponders a harmonious way forward in the wake of Brexit and the pandemic. “Wearing a head-mic favoured by TED talkers, market hawkers, TV evangelists, backing singers and carnival barkers, Alan combines all these roles and more,” runs the announcement.
The tour is set to start in Belfast in April 2022 and end at the O2 Arena in London the following month. Partridge will be “not just treading the boards but pounding them, atop stages graced by such luminaries as Michael Ball, Jack Whitehall and Welsh rockers the Stereophonics”.
In a promotional video, Partridge laments the demise of a country characterised by “warm beer and cold hands” and suggests that a mutual hatred of speed bumps could bring us all together – “whether you’re a pro-European who’s had the jab or you’re a Brexiteer who doesn’t believe in vaccines”.
Coogan, who returned as the character in April for a second series of the BBC’s This Time with Alan Partridge, is among an increasing number of comedians announcing major UK tours as venues begin to open their doors after the Covid crisis. Henry Normal, who co-founded Baby Cow Productions with Coogan, starts his own tour this October. Normal’s show, The Escape Plan, will feature stories, jokes and poems taken from his two latest collections.