Interview: Jon Udry, ‘Glastonbury really does have something for everyone’

Jon Udry is a juggler and stand-up comedian whose charming, frank and funny performances have won him the award for ‘British Young Juggler of the Year’ and has led to appearances on radio and television, as well as appearing all over the world to international acclaim.

Following a run at Brighton Fringe, he now brings his show to this year’s Glastonbury Festival

Q&A with Jon Udry

How does it feel to be heading to the famous Worthy Farm?

It is always such a privilege to be performing at such a fantastic festival. I first started performing at Glastonbury in 2005, so it always feels quite familiar and has a special place in my heart. The line-up is always exceptional, not only in music, but also in cabaret and comedy and I feel honoured to be part if it.  

How different is the show you’re performing there to the one you played at Brighton earlier this month?

In Brighton Fringe Festival, I was performing a one hour solo show called Jon Udry’s Having a Ball. At Glastonbury I will be performing shorter sets in two different venues: 25 minute shows in the Circus Big Top and 10 minute shows in a late night venue called Mavericks. Both sets will have similar elements to Jon Udry’s Having a Ball, but in such short set times, you don’t have the luxury of telling a full narrative, like in the one hour show. So it’ll be more about the tricks and jokes, not that that’s a bad thing!

What kind of opportunities do a festival crowd present?

At a festival, people often spend hours in one venue, as it provides back to back performances all day. Therefore it gives me the chance to perform to people that might not necessarily choose to book tickets to one of my shows. They could see me by accident and hopefully they’ll book tickets in the future. One of the comments I often get is “you know, I don’t normally like juggling, but I really like your show!”. At a festival, this happens a lot. 

Will you have a chance to check out any of the acts at the festival? Is there anything you’re looking forward to seeing?

As I’ll be only doing 2 shows per day, I’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the festival and see many of the acts. Glastonbury really does have something for everyone. If I am being completely honest, there is not much music there that I’m excited about seeing, but on the cabaret and comedy scene, there is a lot! Steve Rawlings, Phil Wang, Rod Laver, and Nish Kumar to name a few. 

Jon Udry is at Glastonbury Festival 2023