What does it mean to be a Basic Bloke? Geoff Norcott heads to Worthing and Crawley

Geoff Norcott. Photo Steve UllathorneGeoff Norcott. Photo Steve Ullathorne
Geoff Norcott. Photo Steve Ullathorne
The blokes are having quite a hard time of it just now, argues stand-up Geoff Norcott who brings his Basic Bloke tour to Worthing’s Connaught Theatre on Saturday, March 9 and to The Hawth in Crawley on Friday, April 5.

For his sixth UK tour, Geoff will be trying to make sense of the current cultural and political scene with his playfully provocative brand of humour. More particularly, though, he will be trying to unpick what's happening with your average bloke.

As he says, toxic masculinity has grabbed all the headlines and ruined it for your standard model who has been put under the microscope like never before. As Geoff says, so many of the male characteristics previously seen as virtues are now seen as failings.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think it has become apparent over the last ten years or so that being a bloke has become a negative or a pejorative kind of thing. It doesn't have the brand value that it once did. I suppose there was perhaps the golden era in the 1950s but even then the blokes probably didn't have that great a time, drinking too much and dying young but it does seem that often men are held collectively responsible for the toxicity that is around.”

So what is a bloke?“I think a bloke is somebody who doesn't want to make anybody's life difficult, who is just trying to be a calm and a dependable person taking people to the airport and taking stuff to the dump when he's asked to. He might be a bit rubbish about remembering anniversaries but he is not a bad person. Bloke is basically two words that have come together from the Dutch and the Irish and it means a blockhead but a likeable chap and to be honest I would rather be liked than to be thought intelligent.”

Particularly at a time when male characteristics are under such scrutiny: “We are in a world where there is hostility to the basic male traits like introversion and not showing your emotions. We're living in a world where is a dialogue that almost we have got to share more and talk more and almost be more like women.”

It’s time when those traditional male characteristics can be deemed to be toxic and destructive. Geoff, of course, concedes that talking more has got to be healthier: “But I suppose what I'm really talking about is the middle ground, that we have got to talk just a little bit more, share just a little bit more. And really it's about trying to get the language right. But I think the interesting thing is a lot of the social things that blokes do get involved in involve activities. Blokes are rarely head inclined looking at each other and talking.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“But one of the things that maybe blokes are not very good at is having a healthy discussion about their romantic relationships. If women get together and talk, they will talk about their relationships but if you've got a lot of blokes together and one of them starts criticising his wife then the others will look at him with a kind of ‘You don't do that’ kind of look. But I think it's just a question of balance really.”