Alistair Green: Jack Spencer - Why Anything?

While Green’s professionalism for going ahead with his solo performance with a tiny audience is worth a mention, this shouldn’t distract from the most important point: that his tale of a somewhat shallow, media-obsessed UK stand-up talking earnestly about overcoming his sex addiction is a sharp and amusing reflection of our celebrity-fixated, ‘journey of discovery’ times. British audiences of a certain age may never quite forgive Green for what he does to an old childhood icon but, while he’s certainly exaggerating his picture of drug-fueled debauchery behind the facade of old-school family entertainment, it’s by only a matter of a few degrees.

Through the re-reading of old diaries, guest appearances, and an exclusive glimpse of a scene from a self-penned play about his sexual addiction, we learn that Jack Spencer is by no means a cuddly stage presence, although his vacuous belief in how love and music alone can solve all of Africa’s problems is all too plausible.

Deceptively light and frothy, this is a well-paced piece of theatre with a sufficient number of overt gags to hold an audience’s attention. However, if there’s one section of the show that definitely would have benefited from a larger audience, it was the faux audience Q&A; despite Green’s best efforts, an audience of three just wasn’t going to produce the results he was hoping for — especially given the vocal slippage that changed “What is your favourite film?” into “What is your favourite fruit?”

This is certainly a show worth seeing; let’s just hope Tuesday night’s poor turnout is the exception rather than the norm for both Alistair Green and his creation Jack Spencer.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Multiple Venues

Nests

★★★
Dundee Rep Theatre / Macrobert Arts Centre

The Yellow on the Broom

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Police Cops in Space

★★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Rik Carranza: Still a Fan

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Marmite

★★★★

The Blurb

Join controversial UK stand-up Jack Spencer as he talks about his devastating sex addiction, global politics, and performs extracts from his extraordinarily moving one man play.