Tom was sent to all-boys boarding school at age six. A world where ‘day kids’ are shunned and girls are non-existent. But when, in his second last year the school decided to go co-ed, everything was to change. The total Fringe sell-out, star of Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and ultra-privileged Tower of London resident, Tom Houghton lifts the controversial lid on the incubators responsible for producing many of our country’s leaders, with his Fringe show, That’s What I Go To School For. Tom spoke with The Fountain about the show and his plans post-Fringe.
TF: You’re performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
I’m very excited to be coming back to the fringe this year. I think especially so because this is a show I’ve been looking forward to doing for a few years and the subject matter is very close to my heart. I also think its a topic that isn’t talked about, but people don’t yet understand quite how important it is in relation to equality throughout the country
TF: That’s What I Go To School For certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
That’s What I Go To School For is a semi autobiographical, but more importantly a critic of the boarding school system. It documents my time at one, having been sent away at six years old. It asks what effects that can have on a child, what effects they public system has toward social mobility and the class split in the country and what place these schools have in the modern world that is striving for equality. Its will also, hopefully, be hilarious.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
The experiences my friends and I have had and how but has shaped the men we are today. Despite having less than positive experiences at school, I still felt this ingrained sense of loyalty. I later came too realise that this is common in the public school system. I’d never heard of a boarding school “survivor’ before, but this is an actual condition. On wide reading I discovered the scale off effects these insitutions can have. I also realised the effect they have on the country as a whole. You only have to look at Brexit to realise it was caused by a load of ex-public school boys jostling for power like they were in a sixth form common room.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
I never see as many shows as I’d wish, so that is certainly on the cards. Depends what happens when I get up there. I may well be camping out of Glasgow judging by the rental situation! You seen the state of it? £2700 for a single bed in Leith? I hope this doesn’t cripple acts and punters alike.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Edinburgh?
I’ll tour, I’m planning on heading back to South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. As well as more exotic places such as Reading and Aldershot. Im very excited to be supporting Milton Jones on his tour at the turn of the year. Then I shall be quietly working away in the background on my sitcom. Its set in the Tower of London, which is where my family are currently living. The benefit of having a very cool dad. My sister will also have given birth in October. The first of the next generation. So I shall take some time off and look forward too becoming cool Uncle Tom.
Tom Houghton’s new stand up show What I Go To School For is at the Pleasance Jack Dome at 8.10pm from 31st July – 25th August for tickets go to www.edfringe.com