Tim clearly has high hopes for the musical, even though there‚Äôs still no guarantee it will make London‚Äôs prestigious West End. ‚ÄúIt just needs to not be crap,‚ÄĚ he states. ‚ÄúIf it doesn‚Äôt get to the West End it‚Äôll be my fault.‚ÄĚ
A very rational view. This comes as no surprise as much of his solo material deals with critical thought and in the case of his acclaimed nine-minute beat poem, Storm, his irritation with those who don‚Äôt, to put it bluntly, use their brain.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve got more interested in science and belief as I‚Äôve got more into comedy and being a writer puts pressure on you to source material. You can only plough what you‚Äôve got sitting in your field and I have always been more and more interested in logic and rationalism. It sounds so boring but my shows also have a lot of silliness in them.‚ÄĚ
For Tim logic, reason and creativity go hand in hand. ‚ÄúI get huge thrills, the thrill other people get out of fantasy or sci-fi, out of [writers] like Ian McEwan, someone very organised in their ideas and discussing ideas. It‚Äôs what I aspire to, to be able to discuss ideas articulately and with clarity.‚ÄĚ
Religion in particular whirls constantly around in his head, but he‚Äôs not interested in whether or not religious ideas are ‚Äėtrue‚Äô, rather its use in the world we live in. ‚ÄúI think it‚Äôs a bad force but that‚Äôs because I‚Äôve never ever had it and I think there‚Äôs no need for it. All I see is people not wanting gays and women to have power.‚ÄĚ
So does this mean Tim is one of those chest-beating militant atheists? ‚ÄúThese days I‚Äôve refined the way I talk about these things,‚ÄĚ he reflects. ‚ÄúYou won‚Äôt see me sort of going ‚Äėyou‚Äôre an idiot for believing anything!‚Äô I say believe what you like but you‚Äôre not special, no one‚Äôs special, you have to be accountable for your moral choices.‚ÄĚ
Because of this conviction nothing is off limits, but this doesn‚Äôt mean Tim is lazily indiscriminate in his material. His comedy can be confrontational but it is never shock for shock‚Äôs sake. ‚ÄúI won‚Äôt just say anything, I back it up with a millions rhymes, and a million bits of little logical arguments. My comedy is this kind of incessant thoroughness, almost OCD thoroughness of ideas.‚ÄĚ
As if to illustrate the point, Tim is reluctant to describe his current, slightly haggard state as the result of stress. ‚ÄúI do think the way you construct your life in language affects the way you see it. If you walk around saying ‚ÄėI‚Äôm stressed‚Äô all the time you‚Äôll believe it. So I try to talk about ‚Äėworking really hard‚Äô. But this has been full on,‚ÄĚ he smiles.
So what does a man like this, with a million thoughts and ideas going through his head at any one time, do to switch off?
‚ÄúDrink alcohol‚ÄĚ he deadpans. Well, quite.
Matilda is previewing at the RSC in Stratford Up on Avon now: www.matildamusical.com
His solo show Tim Minchin: Ready For This? is released on DVD on November 29th and his arena tour kicks off in Birmingham on December 8th.