Interview: James Acaster returns for Kettering gig

James Acaster

James Acaster

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He’s a rising star in the world of British comedy and for his latest challenge, Kettering born James Acaster will perform all three of his hit shows.

The comedian plays at Kettering Arts Centre with his show The Trelogy featuring hit shows Recognise, Represent and Reset across three successive nights from Thursday May 11 to Saturday May 13.

James Acaster at the opening of a shop in Kettering

James Acaster at the opening of a shop in Kettering

Undercover cops. Jury duty. Witness protection. A lot has happened to James across his past three critically acclaimed shows.

He doesn’t know who he is, he doesn’t know what he believes and he doesn’t know what he’s going to do with his life.

So how does get ready for a show like this.

James said: “I’ve been preparing all my life. I never forget anything. I will never forget being asked this question or my answer to this question.

“And my answer is by watching old recordings of the shows then repeating them out loud and then going on stage and saying them on stage

“It is a foolproof method and it cannot fail.’”

Anyone who has followed his shows will see a legal theme to his career.

James explained: “Recognise’ is a story about my life as an undercover cop posing as a stand-up comedian; that was a lot of fun to perform.

“Represent sees me tackle jury duty, and Reset throws me into witness protection.

“!The three of them are a crime-themed trilogy that are all actually about uncertainty, and link to genuine difficulties in life – things like break-ups, understanding faith, and even comments on the referendum last year.

“It’s all quite subtle and whimsical but offers my own little bit of insight into the world.’

Many comedians will talk about their backgrounds while on stage and while the same is true of James, it is doubtful that Kettering has had much attention in the world of comedy.

James said: “I don’t know why Kettering is the thing I want to talk about, but there’s something about it. When I started comedy, I’d look around and go: what makes me different from other people? And no other comedians come from Kettering’”

And is he looking forward to doing the hometown gig?

James said: “It is great. I’ve taken every tour show to Kettering and they all turn up to see the local boy.

“The venue’s a church that’s now an arts centre, but it is the church that I went to Cubs in, it’s where I had primary school services, it’s where my youth group met – so it’s been a massive part of me growing up.

“When I was in Cubs I wet myself during prayer time and it was the most humiliating time of my entire childhood, so it feels nice to go back there and be like, “I’m doing all right no.”

And his love for his hometown saw him make a travel mockumentary Sweet Home Ketteringa

He said: “Oh it’s been so great to go out and make something with your friends, work really hard at it and learn a lot.”

James is probably most familiar for TV audiences for making semi regular appearances on panel show Mock the Week, an experience which he enjoys.

He said: “It’s so much fun. It’s all my mates on it now, so you can just have a laugh with them.

“The reputation for it being aggressive is over now. When I did my first episode, I went there with invisible knuckledusters on, going, “Bring it!” But everyone was so great.

“Dara [O’Briain, the show’s host] doesn’t let you flounce – if you throw something out there he doesn’t just watch it drop and move on.”

Recognise is on Thursday May 11 with Represent on Friday May 12 and Reset on Saturday May 13.

The doors for all three shows open at 7.30pm with the entertainment starting at 8pm.

Tickets for each show is £16 or £40 for all three. They can be booked by emailing office@ketteringartscentre.com or or call 07759 765824 or alternatively by visiting www.ketteringartscentre.co.uk.