Colchester/Cambridge: Comedian Jason Cook is a broken man, read why

Comedian Jason Cook

Comedian Jason Cook - Credit: Archant

Men with young daughters will get where comedian Jason Cook is coming from in new show Broken.

“I’m having trouble connecting with my daughter because she’s a girl, she’s two and it’s difficult for a man to know what to do with that; I’m quite a clumsy father,” he says. “I try, but obviously I’m working so much so we have brief and fleeting moments together.”

Painting himself as shell of a man unable to interact in society without being told exactly what to do, the show is about his quest to find the joy of life and using the trials and tribulations some might moan about to turn his life into a richer and happier one.

“It’s about the things that bother everyone, how they break you a little bit but it’s a very happy show. It’s about trying to laugh at the little things and the big things we think break us when perhaps we’re probably just whinging a bit.”

Pretty much based on his life, Cook finds audiences enjoy it more when you’re real. Another part of the show is a two-minute window into exactly what’s going through his head while on stage.

“I do it in one breath... It’s pretty intense.”

Talking about things that break you, was he disappointed his award-winning BBC2 series Hebburn wasn’t picked up for a third series?

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“It’s being shown all over the world and then the BBC decided not to do it anymore which is its perogative. The rights have been bought by a TV company in America (Happy Madison Productions, part owned by Adam Sandler) and hopefully it’s getting remade there.”

Rusty voiced Cook is still recovering from 50-plus shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe when I call. He’s not complaining though.

“I used to have a real job, so I know what tiring is,” says the comedian, who spent seven years in the Merchant Navy.

“I used to work in engine rooms and sail around the world instead of poncing about telling jokes... Poncing about telling jokes much easier.”

He’s never really had a set, preferring to go where the audience want to go but this show has a story.

“I usually end up saying that quite a lot, ‘we’ll get to that’. But it’s whatever the mood of the room is, we’ll see what we’ll talk about... It’s whatever the audience want to talk about and however mad they want to be, I’m always up for that... Then it’s like you’re juggling mercury.”

Always the funny bloke in the pub, he always wanted to try stand-up and was encouraged by his mates.

“I quit me job and it was mental. I got a job in a comedy club so I could watch more and was doing little bits of sketch comedy here and there. One day the compere didn’t turn up. The club was the roughest one in Newcastle and they said ‘well you’re going to have to go on’. I really don’t think I was ready but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been... A lot of people start in little pubs, but I had a proper baptism of fire.”

When he first started, Cook admits to winging it, taking a pitcher of beer on stage with him and giving people drinks, just trying not to die on stage.

“If it’s working well there’s no time or anything. I thought my Edinburgh show lasted about eight minutes. Once you’re connected to the audience and everything’s going well it’s a timeless thing and you just prance around,” he laughs.

Jason Cook will be at the Junction, Cambridge, October 10 and Colchester Arts Centre October 11.

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