Jordan Brookes has quickly become one of our favourite young comics after a stunning debut hour at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015.
He followed that up with another great show in 2016 that saw him get more personal, as well as show off his great physicality.
Jordan’s now taking that follow-up show, The Making Of, to London’s Soho Theatre at the end of this month. We had a chat with him ahead before it all kicks off.
Hi Jordan. How are you today?
I feel great! Truly great. So good. Like, yeah, good. Sort of fine. A little under fine, maybe. Could be better. Bit stressed to be honest. I haven’t felt well for a while now.
You’re taking The Making Of to Soho Theatre this month. How are you feeling about performing the show at such a prestigious venue?
It’s an absolute treat! I’ve seen so many great acts and shows there, and I really like what the Soho Theatre do in terms of supporting developing acts. I try not to place too much importance on any one gig or opportunity, but I went to see the excellent Kate Lucas recently and spotted my own poster on the wall on the way out and I must admit my little heart did a flutter of excitement. It’ll probably go really badly now. At least I won’t be able to see the look of disappointment on the audience with all that egg on my face.
We caught it at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe and loved it. How did you enjoy last year’s festival run?
Really fun. The venue was a little further out than what would be ideal but I think it did my health the world of good, being able to keep a distance from the main hub. Plus the room was lovely and the staff were a delight, which really helps.
It’s a very surreal and silly show while getting across quite personal, confessional material. Was it a hard one to write?
They’re all really hard to write because they’re about something and also absolutely nothing. It’s hard to get the balance right between sincerity and silliness and often it changes according to the audience. I’m three shows deep and I don’t have any kind of methodology or approach to developing them. I try not to dictate the direction they go in though, which I think helps maintain this element of helplessness on my part, as if I’m performing something that I, along with the audience, are a victim of. We end up being united by a mutual concern over what the hell’s happening.
There’s lots of great physiciality too. Is that a part of your act you are looking to develop?
Yeah I’m always trying to introduce physical elements, which doesn’t always mean being able to stick my leg behind my head or whatever, but just being more aware of my physical presence to the point where I can stand there doing almost nothing but still communicate something. Little moments like that are my favourite. Small gestures that say a lot.
Not long after this brief Soho run you’re up at the Fringe again with a show about your grandmother. Is this year’s show coming together?
Who knows! I’m excited about it and enjoying the development so far. We’ll see how it turns out. I suspect I’ll be tweaking it every day of the Fringe to keep it fresh. Which is a good thing. If I had it locked in by this point I’d be glumly reading off the auto-cue in my head come Edinburgh.
You’ve remained with the free show model for Edinburgh this year. Was that important for you?
It’s a combination of me believing in that ramshackle spirit of the free fringe and also I can’t really afford a paid venue. Maybe in the future, but for now I like the prospect of people wondering in to a free show they know nothing about and either enjoying it or hating it so much it ruins their entire Fringe experience.
See Jordan Brookes perform The Making Of at Soho Theatre from Fri June 23 – Sat June 24
Use the code LOL2017 when booking to get tickets for £10