Sanderson Jones: interview

Sanderson Jones Sanderson Jones
Posted: Fri Oct 7 2011

Charming stand-up Sanderson Jones has set himself a huge personal challenge, on so many levels. He talks to Time Out about the party-like atmosphere of his biggest ever solo show

Ever heard of Sanderson Jones? Have a look at his friendly, heavily bearded face. Seen it on your tellybox lately? Us neither. But despite being relatively unknown to the comedy-seeking public, the comic has set himself the challenge of filling the vast Union Chapel with no phone, internet or venue sales. Each of the 850 tickets must be sold by Jones personally. We have high hopes he'll make it since, during the Edinburgh Fringe in August over 25 days, Jones personally sold each and every one of the 1,200-odd tickets to his Edinburgh shows, customising each gig to whoever was in the room.

Why did you decide to set yourself such a crazy challenge?
'Because it is ridiculous and just the right side of totally unfeasible.'

How does personally selling the tickets affect the actual gig?
'It's hard to explain, but it really does change the atmosphere. Because I've already met everyone in the audience before each show even begins it feels a bit like a party. Just a bit.'

How do people get hold of tickets?
'Generally, whoever wants a ticket emails sanderson@comedy or tweets @comedysale. Then I deliver it. Or they come to one of the meet-ups.'

'I thought it would be unfair if it was only me who knew everyone. So, at the meet-ups the audience get to know each other too. The next one is an afternoon of beer, ping pong and boardgames in my local, The Royal Oak on Clapham High Street, on Sunday October 9. Come!'

I might just do that. And how are ticket sales going so far? Are you close to reaching your target?
'I've reached it. I've sold out the initial aim of 500 seats - that's the main body of the church. My new goal is to sell out the upper circle too. Next stop 850!'