We're not sure we can describe Bleed, the latest comedy show from Jordan Brookes. Let's see if the star himself can...
Hi Jordan. If you were to rank the years of your life, where would 2018 fit in that order?
Torturous. It'll be the year I look back on as the taint that contaminated my bottled-up emotions and corked me into a foul-tasting mess.
Your style of comedy is unique. Do you have a label for what you do?
I don't have a label, but I always just try to do what I think is funny. I guess my act has never been strictly conventional (in the narrowest definition of the term) but it was perhaps a little tamer and more straightforward when I first started because I lacked the confidence to do exactly what I wanted to do.
In your 2017 show, you included some stark confessions on stage about your inner thoughts. Did any of your family see you perform that?
Yes, my mum and sister saw it. My mum can't see past her own pride for me for just getting out the house so even when I'm dribbling down myself and babbling in tongues on stage and upsetting a whole room of people she's just sat there sobbing with joyful delight muttering 'well done my beautiful son'. My family are very supportive of what I do and I am very thankful.
We saw you advertising for a flatmate on Twitter recently. Are you a good flatmate? We can imagine you rehearsing in the communal space and slightly alarming people!
I am! Off-stage I'm considerably less of the prick I appear to be. I try to keep my rehearsing in public to an absolute minimum, though occasionally find myself sat on the bus mouthing the words to a bit or pulling a dumb face.
You perform barefoot. Why? Some of the stages we've seen you appear on have not looked at all clean!
Yeah and you wouldn't believe the colour of the bath when I've washed my feet after a particularly dirty gig. I started performing barefoot because it made me feel exposed and a bit more vulnerable. I kept with it because I found it was a useful for audiences to know they were perhaps about to watch something a bit different. Now I do it out of pure affectation for no real reason.
You're bringing your hit Edinburgh show Bleed to London. What can people expect?
They can expect a show that hopefully takes them on a journey they won't forget easily. I wanted to do a show that was like a theme park ride, which shook you about and whooshed you upside down and around and left you stumbling through the exit thoroughly bewildered. I think it does that.
You're changing things slightly from the Edinburgh version?
Certain aspects had to change anyway because they're location-specific, but what was different about this show compared to previous years was the development process. Because of this 'extra' element, it meant sections of the show couldn't really be built until I arrived at the Edinburgh Fringe. So while I was pleased with the show I also felt like there were themes and ideas I wanted to explore a bit more/expand on. I don't know if it's improved the show but it at least keeps it fresh for me to perform, which should make it a better experience for audiences.
We won't mention specifics so as not to spoil it, but Bleed features some unique elements we've never seen done before. With these, are you trying to get in the audience's head or bring them into your head? Is there an element of trying to fabricate a false reality for the audience?
Sort of both? There's no single purpose there. You're free to interpret it however you like. I definitely didn't want to do a show where I was like 'hey guys this is what it's like to be inside my brain' because that's so dull and played-out. So while there may be elements of that, it's certainly not the guiding intent.
There's definitely a false reality aspect to the show. Well, less a false reality, more of a world-building. I think it's a misnomer to call it false. It IS reality, it's just the one I'm building with the audience and then playing with the control that that brings.
Any plans for 2019 yet?
Hopefully tour the show, develop some scripted fun stuff, but mostly it'll be spent trying to get the cork back on that bottle.