Brighton Fringe preview: Jon Udry’s Having a Ball

Running at the Brighton Fringe on 31 May-1 Jun, Jon Udry’s Having a Ball is a new “signature melange of stand-up comedy and impreccable juggling” from the veteran entertainer.

Where: Caravanserai Brighton: Luna Park

When: 31 May & 1 Jun, 5.30pm.

Ticket link:

Promotional photo for Jon Udry's Having a Ball

What’s the best part of being involved in Brighton Fringe?

I have to be honest with you, I have no idea. I have been a professional juggler and comedian for 16 years, and this will be my first fringe festival.

So far I can say that the organisation has been great, and the marketing team have been very helpful with telling me what to do. But as for performing at the fringe, only time will tell!

Juggling and comedy feature in your show. What should audiences expect from Jon Udry’s Having a Ball?

I’ll start by telling you what the audience will not see. A lot of jugglers will do “danger juggling” with fire, knives, chainsaws etc. I won’t be doing any of that. I also won’t been seen on anything high (I can’t stand heights!) such as a unicycle or a ladder.

You will also not see the classic glittery razzle-dazzle that you may find in a traditional circus. Whatever preconception you may have of juggling, it won’t be that. The most common compliment I get for my show is “I normally hate juggling, but I loved your show”.

So I guess this is the juggling show to see for those of you that hate juggling. A tough sell! But you won’t be disappointed. Without giving too much away, you will see a number of things in the show that you will not see anywhere else.

Is the stand-up comedy fringe in a good place at the moment? How do you ensure your work stands out and finds attention?

The line up of great stand ups at the fringe is exceptional. It is definitely difficult to compete with. The fact that I have 28 years of juggling experience helps me a lot!

Sure a lot of people can be funny, but they can’t all juggle 7 balls. At least that’s what I tell myself for comfort.

“Affable, savvy and frank” is how your work has been described. A bit of magic, a lot of skill, and a lot of fun. Do you have any influences which have informed your work?

In my show the juggling works as a vehicle for the stand up comedy. But despite despite that, I don’t have a huge amount of influences from the juggling world.

My main influences from the world of variety come from the likes of Derren Brown and Penn & Teller. I love the way that they deconstruct their tricks, and let you peak up the wizards sleeve.

From comedy, my main influences would be Jack Dee, Tim Key, Nick Helm, Mike Birbiglia, and John Mulaney. There are many more, but here is just a short list of some of my favourites.

What’s next for you after Brighton?

After Brighton, I will be performing at a number of burlesque, cabaret and comedy nights up and down the country. And then off to Glastonbury Festival to perform in the Circus Big Top and The Mavericks tent.

Then, a few cruise ships and more cabarets and finishing the year off hosting a month long show in Bristol called Christmas at the Spiegel Tent. A good year!

What do you think?

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