Camden Fringe: Meet the comedian who's also a rockstar, David Cameron impersonator and teacher of vicars
PUBLISHED: 11:00 25 July 2015
Anna Behrmann talks to Hampstead resident Bentley Browning ahead of his show, How to stay lonely and keep your Star Wars collection.
Hampstead comedian Bentley Browning is many things to many people. The practicing Christian is frontman of rock band Explode the TV, a keen swimmer at the Parliament Hill Lido, the founder of a comedy school, and the son of a vicar. Oh, and he’s also a professional David Cameron lookalike, and does a bit of Nick Clegg on the side, if asked nicely.
“Yeah I just change the tie,” he says. “Well that says a lot about politics really.” In his illustrious career as a David Cameron impersonator, he has made bread on the Alan Titchmarsh show. The call came after David Cameron could not name the price of a loaf of bread - after all, Samantha has a breadmaker at home. In the name of duty, Bentley has also pulled down his trousers in front of Parliament to reveal his satin shorts - no news yet of the real Cameron following suit.
Elsewhere, as part of his destiny as a vicar’s son, Bentley has started doing stand-up comedy classes for the clergy. “Some of them have felt that they’ve been accused of being a bit dry and it helps boosts the numbers in church a bit,” he says. He’s trained about 100 priests and says that most of them are already good public speakers; they just might need some encouragement before they venture into gags and improv in their Sunday sermons.
In his own stand-up, Bentley tries to scale back the stereotypical crassness and innuendo. “I try to clean it up a bit,” he says. “I used to be crude, but now I try to reign it in because I don’t think that it fits in with my religion.” If Bentley can no longer fill up the silence with swear words, he is certainly not short of anecdotes to bulk up the material.
Bentley Browning will be performing with Aaron Ayjay at the Camden Fringe in “How to stay lonely and keep your Star Wars collection” on the 22nd and 23rd August at 14.00 at the Etcetera Theatre Camden Town