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Pride Month: Do you have any concerns about taking ‘queer comedy’ to rural audiences, Will Jackson?

Wednesday, 14 June


Artist Interview

Artist Spotlight


To celebrate #PrideMonth we chatted with 'rising comic star' (Attitude Magazine) and lip-syncing extraordinaire Will Jackson about bringing Quick Duck Theatre's unique brand of comedy to the rural touring scene. 

Can you tell us a bit about who you are and the kind of work you produce? 

I’m Will Jackson. I’m a theatre maker who creates primarily comedic work with a queer focus that always has a banging soundtrack. I run a Birmingham-based theatre company called Quick Duck which has been making and touring work for over 5 years.

What/who are the main influences of your work? 

Music is always my biggest inspiration. The Scissor Sisters were my favourite band growing up, and you can see their slightly gritty campness and love for life in my work. A song or a lyric can inspire a whole show even if that track isn’t used in the performance.

I grew up in East Anglia but cut my teeth as an artist in Birmingham. I have to thank the West Midlands theatre scene for embracing me with such open arms. Companies and artists like Little Earthquake, Fran Millican-Slater and Paul O’Donnell were so kind with their time and taught me everything I know about the rural touring circuit.

Yours Sincerely Photo 6 Elafris Photography

Who do you think will enjoy your work and why? 

Anyone looking for a great night out. In live performance, you’re not competing against other artists. You’re battling with streamers and TV to get audiences off the sofa into a venue. I always try to make my shows slightly interactive to make them a bit special.

My latest play, Confetti, is about a wedding planner organising his best friend’s wedding. It starts at a hen party, so all the audience are treated as guests and are given party bags with sweets, party poppers and torches, which they use to help create the magic of the show as it goes along.

You don’t have to be queer to enjoy my work (my usual demographic that sells out my shows is straight women over 35, and I LOVE those huns). But my work will always have that lens on it because it’s what I can write well! Audiences respond well to authenticity.

Confetti Will Jackson Credit Emma Jones 003

Do you have any concerns about taking ‘queer comedy’ to rural audiences? 

I was anxious before I started rural touring, but those concerns quickly evaporated. As long as you’re honest when describing your show to promoters and bookers, they’ll know whether it’ll be a good fit.  That is one of the best things about rural touring. Promoters know their audiences extremely well and know what they want to see.

What do you think are some of the benefits of sharing your work with rural audiences? 

I’ve had some of my best shows on the circuit.  I love the intimacy of those shows, especially as a storyteller - you really get to make a great connection with your audiences.  

Yours Sincerely Photo 1 Elafris Photography

What does the future hold for Quick Duck Theatre?  

World domination! Haha. We’ve just wrapped on a really fun LivingRoom project called The Tiger Who Spilled The Tea through Live & Local. It was an awesome interactive tea party for villages outside of Nottingham to get to know their neighbours better. We had a riot.

Confetti is doing a large tour this Summer (including a run at the Soho Theatre) and I’m excited to be offering it and my other solo show Yours Sincerely to Live & Local promoters next season.

Confetti Will Jackson Credit Rachel Baker 004

We'd like to thank Will for this interview.

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