Comedy blog

Will Adamsdale on bringing back Jackson’s Way to Battersea

will adamsdale jacksons way battersea arts centre

Will Adamsdale is one of comedy’s most enigmatic, yet brilliantly clever and thoughtful performers.

He first came to prominence in 2004 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with his show Jackson’s Way, which introduced the world to motivational speaker Chris John Jackson and saw him bag the Perrier Comedy Award for Best Show at the festival.

Since then he’s traveled the world, appeared in TV detective/gardening show Rosemary and Thyme and returned to the Fringe with the brilliant show Borders in 2014.

He’s now setting up the Powerpoint and getting back in the positive mindset of his most celebrated character for a festive special of Jackson’s Way at the Battersea Arts Centre this December.

You’re bringing back your acclaimed character Chris John Jackson to Battersea Arts Centre for a run in December. What inspired you to resurrect him?

I did the Battersea Arts Centre fundraiser (after a massive fire burned down half their building) as Jackson and there’s something about him and his hopeless, deluded optimism and perversity that just fitted the massive hall. He’s an idiot. But a momentarily apparently profound one. And I got carried away with the audience’s enthusiasm and agreed to do a Jackson Xmas show. Now I’ve gotta write it.

The show is described as a ‘top-up power seminar’. Can we expect to be invigorated with knowledge afterwards?

Knowledge? Hmmm. Well there is a wisdom to Jackson but it’s sort of similar to that fleeting moment of clarity you think you have when drunk. Even if you write it down, in the morning it is total nonsense. But you still think “maybe if I’d written it right! I had something there!'”. But you didn’t. Nor does Jackson. But he’s funny. I love Jackson.

I feel like his parent/agent, despite the fact that he comes out of my brain. Somewhere. I don’t know where. It’s beyond zone 8.

You promise that we can all ‘win’ in 2016. Who’s going to make it big next year? Is Dean Gaffney due a come-back?

I don’t know who that is. I should probably but I just had a kid and I don’t really know about anything going on outside weird wordless songs that I sing to him. Actually that’s kinda like Jackson. Maybe this has all been research.

Yes jackson promises we can all ‘win’ 2016. But he says a lot of stuff. He just wants to stand in front of people and say stuff. And he’ll say any old thing to make that happen. How can you win a year?! He’s an idiot. (see first answer)

Does Jackson embrace the Christmas season in this show?

He does not. He just sees it as a way to get on stage and tell people about his ideas. The last decade hasn’t been that great for him and he’ll jump at any chance to lecture: Christmas, old people centres, bus stops…

Any tips on how to ‘win’ Christmas?

Jackson’s advice is too crazy to go into. Here s 12 xmas infomercial- tips he made

I’d like to distance myself from these. The only thing I’d agree on is that a great new thing I’ve found are soft top socks. That’s a great present. You know how most socks press in on your ankles. Soft tops don’t.

Jackson first came to public attention at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2004. How does it feel to bring him back after so long?

Is that long? I guess it is. The Pub Landlord won it in 1999 and he’s still going strong.

These characters are part of you. You’ve gotta bring them out every now and then, like prisoners, to walk around the yard.

What has Jackson been up to in the 11 years since that Fringe show?

It hasn’t been good for him.

He appeared for an insane 26 day 26 venue tour in 2011. Apart from that it s been very patchy. His line is he’s been researching but I know he s been working on people’s yards in his home town and living with his brother. Although he’s not allowed in the house. He also took a trip to the Arctic (disasterous)

We loved your show Borders at last year’s Fringe. Do you have plans to head back up in 2016?

I’d like to. There’s a small chance. I’ll be back though. Thanks for that about Borders. That was a good year!

What are you looking forward to over Christmas?

Some sleep. I also want to order some of my favourite films to give to family members as presents so that I can then watch them.

Will Adamsdale performs Jackson’s Way: The Christmas Top-Up Power Seminar at Battersea Arts Centre from 1 December to 12 December


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