Shaking off the dust.

Hello! I’m still breathing, and living, and telling jokes.

As you may remember, I’m in my 3rd and final year of University, and I have my exams at the moment, so sorry I’ve not posted anything for ages – I’ve been busy not revising. I’ve only got 2 exams left now, with my last one on Wednesday 8th June, so not long to go before I leave Uni and can get on with the real world.

Lots of exciting things have happened since last time I posted, and the video below shows one of those things:

It was a lovely evening, with some great comics, and I was very flattered to win, and I’m looking forward to the Semi-Final, which happens at the Bath Komedia on June 10th, and is broadcast on June 11th, on BBC Radio 2 at 10pm. More details available here:

It’s going to be a great show, with me and 5 other brilliant acts doing our thing – they are Ian Smith, Pat Cahill, Andrew Ryan, Michael J Dolan and Tez Ilyas, and are all fantastic, so it’s going to be a tough ask to pick the best 3 of us, but even for those of us who don’t make it through, we can all put ‘As heard on BBC Radio 2’ on our publicity material, so that’s a great little boost. The first Semi-Final is on iPlayer for a few more days, so have a listen if you fancy – It has Joe Lycett, one of my favourite acts, on sterling form, and he’s my tip to win the competition overall.

So, that was (and will be) all very exciting, but it wasn’t the only thing! I’ve managed to pick up two ‘3rd Place’ positions in some competitions – Bath New Act of the Year and Laughing Horse New Act of the Year, both of which I’m really pleased with. Matt Richardson and Andrea Hubert were the top two in Bath, while Adam Belbin and Mark Stephenson bested me in Laughing Horse, and I shared my bronze with Darren Walsh – all justly deserved positions, and very funny, very friendly people to boot. I got a lovely review from Steve Bennett of Chortle, which, to save you clicking around the internet any more was like this:

“Chris Turner rescued the second section with his pun-laden set that earned him the other joint bronze. He’s another low-energy deadpanner, although the quality of his writing largely overcomes that ennui. Deliberate and unemotional, he’s too similar in style to the likes of established circuit acts Anthony J Brown and Gary Delaney; although he might be well advised to follow Delaney’s relatively recent discovery of the benefits of relaxing more. But he’s such an exemplary writer of quotable gags – expect to see them stolen by Cheggers before too long.”

The final sentence has provided me with my favourite pullquote so far, and will look lovely on the Edinburgh flyers, while the rest of it is fair enough, I’m sure I’ll be more relaxed after Edinburgh, with the number of gigs I’m doing, and I’ll have more stage experience and confidence – I’m still on less than 100 gigs (~92 [+/- 3] at last count).

Other exciting things are that I’m now represented by Shaun Almey at Fluid Thinking, which has been a great step in getting me onto better bills at better venues, and has already resulted in some lovely gigs, supporting Rhod Gilbert at an Edinburgh Preview, and I’ll be supporting Sarah Millican in Nottingham in July, with her Edinburgh Preview (this has made my Mum, as well as me, very happy and excited). Both of these were/will be with Chris Stokes, a fellow ‘Fluid Thinker, and I’m supporting his debut hour-in-progress, ‘An Opera Written on Napkins‘ in Leicester on the 17th June, at the Crumblin’ Cookie, which will be huge amounts of fun.

Edinburgh plans are still trotting along – I’m doing 3 shows for the whole run, along with spots at COMX, a late night show at The Caves, with Phil Ellis as compere, and lots of great guests, like last year’s Eddie Nominee, The Boy With Tape On His Face. The names of all the shows are below, and they’ll have their own Edinburgh page in time for Edinburgh:

12:15 And Now for Something Completely Improvised @ The Meadow Bar
14:45 AAA Batteries (not included) @ The Meadow Bar (with Liam Williams & Adam Hess)
19:15 ACME Comedy @ The Newsroom (with Matt Richardson & Alex Clissold-Jones)
23:30 COMX JTT @ The Caves

It’ll be a busy, busy time, but loads of fun, and a great experience. It’ll be my 5th Edinburgh Fringe, so I might as well push the boat out, and ~2 hours of Improv & Stand-Up a day can’t do me any harm performance-wise.

The Final bit of exciting news that I can remember, is that contrary to a few posts back, I’m no longer moving to Bristol on graduation to become a Fundraising Consultant – as much as I enjoyed the job, and despite having a great interview and being offered the position, I’m taking next year off, as a sort of post-Uni ‘Gap Year’, and staying in Oxford, living with my girlfriend in a lovely flat in Jericho, while she finishes her 4th and last year of her course. As a result, comedy is going to be my sole past-time, whether that’s stand-up, sketch, improv, or writing – something that I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into with no distractions.

This has been long, and more of a round-up than I intended, but it’s been a while. As a treat for getting this far, have a look at this – my “especially clever” (Steve Bennett, Chortle – Dec ’10) transpositional pun, that I’ve turned into a classic bumper sticker. I might sell them on T-shirts to Christians, and cash in on that holy dollar.

"A Christ is for life, not just for Dogmas".

That’s all for now, I’m of to Nuffield College’s Centre for Experimental Social Studies to do some experiments. I’ll keep you updated post-exams. Until then, stay awesome.

One thought on “Shaking off the dust.

  1. Awesome stuff. Heard you on the Radio 2 competition, found this blog and it is an awesome read – really well written and informative. Just starting off in comedy myself…just done three gigs but there is a lot of great advice and will really try to kick on with the gigging during the summer. Must ask though, what is your turnover like with new material? Do you use the same precise set for 30 gigs (as an arbitrary number) and change it or is it a gradual thing or does it depend on the venue, etc?

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