Actor, comedian and theatre-maker James Hancox is bringing his brand new show, James Hancox: Action, to Home Economics at Girl School this January. Having relocated to Perth from the UK, James has quickly made his mark on local audiences and was even nominated for Best Comedy Award at Fringe World 2018. For those who caught his show 1000 Great Lives last year, you’ll know that the clever comedian is quick on his feet – especially when it comes to performing one-man shows and sketches.
We spoke to James to get to know him and his career better:
How long have you been performing and doing comedy for?
10 years in total – with the last 4 years as a solo performer. Before that, I was part of the improvised musical group Abandoman.
What is it about comedy that you love and inspires you?
I essentially get to play for a living. It’s a lot of hard work preparing and writing a show, but once I’m on stage, I get to embrace my silly side – and celebrate the audience’s too.
As someone who’s originally from the UK, how does performing in Perth compare?
Moving to Perth from London at the end of last year, there’s obviously not as many gigs here – but I find that makes the audience more eager to see something different.
From selling out shows at Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringe to performing on stages at the Glastonbury Festival, Brixton Academy and more, you’ve certainly enjoyed a prolific career. What would you say are the personal highlights of your career?
The moments that stick in my mind are always the ridiculous ones: performing a ribbon dance with an audience member or singing a ballad to an awfully made cardboard horse in last year’s show. It’s been amazing to have those other opportunities, but the silly stuff always makes me smile.
How do manage stage fright (if any)?
There definitely still is! It does get easier the more shows you do – perhaps I’ve just come to accept that it’s part of the process. It’s become like a caffeine shot before going on stage. I think I’d miss it if it wasn’t there.
Using five describing words, tell us about your upcoming one-man comedy show, James Hancox: Action.
Movie-inspired silly sketch comedy ACTION. (That might be technically six, but I’m a maverick!)
Being a one-man show is no easy feat. Do you generally prefer performing in this format and if so, and how do you ensure every element of your show ties together?
I like to connect with the audience in my comedy, and so I never really feel alone in the process. A lot of My sketches are created and workshopped in front of an audience, so you learn pretty quickly whether something is working or not!
What are you looking forward to the most at Fringe World Festival 2021?
It’s been a weird time for performers in 2020 and I’m incredibly grateful to be able to put a real live show on. I’m most looking forward to prancing around in front of a room of actual people with some kind of ridiculous prop in my hand. It’s my happy place.