Daliso Chaponda brings live comedy back to Worthing
He brings his new show Apocalypse Not Now to the Pavilion Theater in Worthing on May 19 – a reflection on a year that, as he puts it, has been “surreal, bizarre and frustrating.”
“I played mainly in my kitchen! I never thought I would become a cooking artist… and then I also wrote a book. I know I can’t complain. A lot of people have lived much worse than me.
“At first I was just ‘OK, well, this is happening’ and I was one of those naive people who thought it might be two or three months, so I thought, ‘Well, I am going to broadcast a show of my cooking every day. And then a few months later, everything was still going on… and I ended up doing 200 episodes.
“I live on my own. I was doing what I could to stay sane, so it was good, but I realized I had to make some money. I was doing four or five hours of preparation for this every day. and I just thought I had to turn it into something else and so I wrote the book It’s about avoiding going crazy.
“I know some people have had enough of their families or worse, but I was just me and my four walls. I started to think to myself “I hate myself!” I would go out for my socially distant walks and talk to someone for maybe 30 minutes, then I was back on my own. I am extremely outgoing. I am extremely sociable.
“I’m just glad it happened in this age of technology. We were able to zoom and WhatsApp and call a lot of people. It was not the same thing but you have to try to imagine what it would have been even in the 80s.
“So I’m cautiously optimistic about this restart, about reopening things. With caution. Last August we reopened and did social distancing shows and then it all stopped. And I know it’s different now because we have the vaccine, but I’m not partying… not until we can have a room full of people screaming and drinking and being British!
Daliso will come back to it with a new appreciation: “I have always been an optimistic actor. If I had a mission statement, it’s that I find the funny in the depressing, but I think I would appreciate it all the more. I was talking to my father who was a refugee when he was a child. He told me that the world would catch up with what refugees have always known, that you can lose everything. He had a business and had to flee Malawi. You can build your life and then suddenly everything stops and you lose everything. I think we are all learning that now. I think his experiences give him a strange, detached wisdom. He can never be a materialist because he knows what it’s like to lose everything.