Interview: Jon Udry’s Having a Ball at Brighton Fringe, ‘Bring a date. Or a few dates?’

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.

This year he’s having a ball and you are the guest of honour as he brings his show ‘Jon Udry’s Having a Ball’ to this year’s Brighton Fringe.

Jon hosts a show brimming with mastery and showcasing reflexes as quick as his wit. His signature melange of stand-up comedy and impeccable juggling will simultaneously charm and compel you.

We caught up with Jon to hear more about the show.

Q&A with Jon Udry

How does it feel to be taking the show to Brighton?

I’m incredibly excited to bring my show to Brighton this year. It’s my first fringe festival, but I have been working on this show for well over a decade. I really can’t wait to show it to the lovely people of Brighton. I’m a giddy kipper!

What can you tell us about the show?

It is 100% not your classic juggling show. It is a mix of juggling and stand up comedy, and it will contain a number of things that you have never seen before, guaranteed (or your money back! Maybe). Despite this being a juggling show, its style could not be further away from that of court jesters, clowns, or traditional circus. It’s taking the art form of juggling (which I have been trying to perfect over 28 years), and shining a fresh light on it to produce something new. The question I hear a lot is: “How can you do a 1 hour juggling show without it being boring?”. I admit, watching someone stand there juggling for an hour would be awfully dull, and I love juggling, but trust me, this is not that. You’ll have to book a ticket to find out how!

What was the original inspiration for it?

I have been inspired a lot over the years by various strands of the art world including stand up (Nick Helm, Tim Key, James Acaster, Jack Dee), magic (Derren Brown and Penn and Teller), and of course juggling (Jay Gilligan, Gandini Juggling). This show is a fusion of my influences smashed into a one hour show.

What was it like to win British Young Juggler of the Year?

It was incredible. I was 16 years old and the competition was for people under 21. There were 8 competitors so I was very stoked to win. I am now 34 though and still going on about it. In all fairness, there aren’t a lot of competitions for jugglers, and I tend to steer clear of other talent shows that rhyme with Smittens Hot Parent!

How would you describe the show to someone considering buying a ticket?

Personally, I would say just go for it. Even better, bring a date. Or a few dates? Why not bring your mates too? You know what, call up all of your year group from school and have a reunion at my show? And tell them all to bring a friend! Why not? The more the merrier. In all seriousness, this is a show that I really think you’d like to see. It’s certainly something I like, which is why I made it. It is fun, exciting, family friendly, fast paced, impressive, and a good laugh. If you like those things, this show is for you.

Jon Udry’s Having a Ball is at Caravanserai Brighton: Luna Parc as part of Brighton Fringe on 31 May and 1 June.