James Alderson: ‘The Spinnaker crowd are really receptive’

James Alderson
James Alderson
The Handsome Family. Picture by Brandon Soder

Life Through The Trees is looking handsome at 20

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Fancy some festive laughs in the run-up to Christmas? Then get yourself along the Spinnaker Tower, which will be hosting a couple of special shows this month. Rising local comic and the MC for the two nights, James Alderson, spoke with Chris Broom about them.

What can people expect from these shows then, James?

Unlike most comedy in the area, we’ve got a TV headliner in each show – someone who’s been on the main shows like Mock The Week, Dave’s One Night Stand or Russell Howard’s Good News, things like that. We’ve got Charlie Baker who did last year on one of the nights, but he’s always great – he does his singing and dancing and Mickey-taking. He went down so well we had to bring him back. In support there’s always a rising star, and then opening is always a very strong act as well, so it’s a good line-up – as well as me.

Plus you get to see the Spinnaker Tower. You can go for the comedy at 9 o’clock, or you can come at 7 o’clock, go up the tower, have a Christmas cracker, have a nice festive food platter, and then enjoy the show later. It’s a whole night of fun and laughter. It’s what we did last year, and I think it went down really well.

As the host, are you looking forward to them?

It’s nice when I do the local ones. Apart from the fact that I market them and promote them and get to worry about the ticket sales, it’s nice to be able to only go 10 miles and do a show in my home city. I feel like I’ve got a lot more in common with the people around here than in, say, Weymouth or Yorkshire – there’s that immediate commonality there, which is nice. There’s a loyal customer base here now too, with people who’ve been to shows there before.’

Doing these local shows, do you ever worry people might be overfamiliar with you?

The good thing is that it’s roughly every month, so I’m writing all the time. At the shows I host, it all comes from chatting with the people there. I might throw in a couple of jokes, but a lot of it is just trying to get everyone relaxed and ready for the great comedians that follow.

Most months I might try out a couple of jokes on the audience and they’re very friendly and laugh and I’ll think it’s funny, then I’ll try it somewhere else and find out that it’s not. The Spinnaker crowd are really receptive and warm, they seem comfortable as soon as they walk in there.

The show on Thursday December 11 features Charlie Baker with Ivo Graham and Ros Ryland. On Thursday, December 18 it will be Joe Wells, Wayne the Weird and Dane Baptiste.

For the comedy only, tickets cost £15, with food, they are £27.50. Go to spinnakertower.co.uk for more details or to book tickets.