5 Minutes with…Chris Norton Walker08.01.18
Local comedian Chris Norton Walker stopped by the theatre ahead of his stand-up show on Saturday 13th January to talk more about his life as a comedian, what inspires him and what we can expect from his acclaimed show, YEAH!.
How did you first get into comedy?
I have always been into comedy growing up. Both sitcoms and stand-up. Watching it on TV made it look like a fun thing to do, but I had no idea how to go from fan to professional. It turns out it is easier than I could have imagined. Whilst at University, I learnt of a local gig, so a friend and I signed up. It was about 2 months away so we wrote jokes and rehearsed together every opportunity we could. The night came and even though both of us were nervous, it went well and I caught the stand-up bug. I haven’t shaken it since.
Do you have an ‘A ha!’ moment when putting together a new show?
‘A ha!’ moments, in a non-Alan Partridge sense, happen all the time. Stand-up is something that you never ‘finish’. Jokes and ideas come all the time, at the strangest of moments. Sadly, you can’t quite switch your brain off when it’s wired up for noticing patterns or behaviour, or in my case, wordplay.
How long have you been a comedian?
I’ve been a performing comedian for 7 years. Although I’d like to say I’ve been thinking about it for much longer. My ‘supportive’ friends might say I’m still not funny…
What do you enjoy most about it?
I love the lifestyle, it’s not a 9-5 job, so no early mornings for me, but lots of late nights.
I love doing gigs in places I’d never discover, or have access to, if I was doing an office job. I’ve gigged in private schools, derelict buildings, manor houses, on a floating cafe and even in a boxing ring!
Most memorable gig?
I’m hoping my most memorable gig will be on the day before my Maltings show. It’s the Gala Show of the Leicester Comedy Festival. A bill with TV names, national press coverage and in front of a few hundred people. Although the Maltings show, for someone who has grown up in St Albans, with friends and family there, will be pretty fun.
Who are your comedy heroes?
My comedy heroes growing up were Monty Python, Eddie Izzard and Morecambe and Wise. For fun, I’ll watch two very different styles really: liner comedians, such as Jimmy Carr and Stewart Francis and silly, playful stand-ups like Ross Noble and Sam Simmons.
Have you performed in St Albans before?
There have been regular gigs in St.Albans for a while now. I have performed in the Town Hall, The Waterend Barn, The Peacock and at St.Albans longest running Open Mic night ‘Comedy in the Crown’.
What can the Maltings Arts Theatre audience expect from your show, ‘YEAH!’?
The audience can expect nearly 300 jokes and one liners! There will be a lot of fun and games and some fantastically funny support acts too.
What are you most looking forward to re your gig at the Maltings Arts Theatre?
I am most ‘looking forward to’ my mum heckling me…*
*Nb Please don’t heckle!