Barry Ferns: Barry Loves You

Barry promised he would "share [his] soul with you" at the start of the show, and golly, he really does. In an hour that takes us from South African robots to family revelations, via flapping meat bags and biscuit addiction, Ferns presents an always engaging, sometimes profound stand-up show.

He's back with this slightly ramshackle, endearingly heartfelt show

Barry Loves You is the latest show from Barry Ferns, proprietor of the Angel Comedy Club in London and 2014 'Spirit of the Fringe' winner. He's back with this slightly ramshackle, endearingly heartfelt show that attempts to tie his muddled mind together into an overarching theme: what is identity?

It's a compelling subject, and Ferns weaves this question throughout his more standard stand-up bits. He challenges us to question our conception of identity, of the ability of the human mind to hold multiple truths at the same time, and of our inability to effectively communicate even the simplest thing to each other. "We're just animals", says Ferns, driven by hunger, sex and fear.

The standout bit of the show for me was when Ferns really gave us an insight into the workings of his mind, in a mad stream-of-consciousness monologue about all of the thoughts that go through his brain when he's crossing the road. I left wanting a bit more of this version of Ferns, and less of the more traditional gags. He's clearly a seasoned performer and is comfortable on stage, dealing with hecklers and technical hiccups. But when he moves into the final act of the show, when he shares his soul with us, it feels a little out of place. He hadn't done enough in the previous 40 minutes to build up to the revelation: and it's a pretty big revelation. It's an intensely human and affecting part of his personal story that deserves a little more ceremony. As with many stand-ups weaving narrative elements into their performances, it lacked a little dramaturgy to hit the right emotional notes.

Clearly Ferns is using this show to process elements of his own past, and that's a brave thing to do. Performance can be so useful for that, but I think it needs to be done with a little more control than he displayed in Barry Loves You. It left me slightly unsatisfied but definitely pondering the meaning of existence in some small way. Which I guess is pretty good for an evening in the pub.

Reviews by Jim Ralley

Gilded Balloon Teviot

Woke

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Paul Williams: Santa Fe

★★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Stuart Bowden: Our Molecules

★★★★
Heroes @ Bob's BlundaBus

Robin Clyfan: The Sea Is Big Enough to Take It

★★★★
C venues – C royale

A Hero of Our Time

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

An hour of entertainment on what it is like to be the human being Barry Ferns living life in the 21st century*. Here is previous review for a previous show: 'A marvellous, personal, beautifully constructed, laughter-packed hour' **** (Scotsman). *This century.

Most Popular See More

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets