Dan Jones: New Kid is a character-based stand up show in which Jones’ hopeless characters try desperately to entertain and showcase their talents. It’s a rather odd look at the nature of entertainment at the festival, providing a pastiche of Fringe comedy.
This is a show which makes fun of the occasionally desperate nature of many fringe shows. Unfortunately it’s almost as much an example of one of these as it a commentary on them.
Dan Jones’ characters try desperately to sell themselves and succeed at the Fringe. One tries to put on a play and brings people from the audience to be his fellow characters on a mad and destructive journey. Another attempts to literally sell jokes while another is distraught at the idea that his stand up might be failing. Although it’s a smart meta-comedy and an analysis of performing arts and stand up at the Fringe, it’s not easy to enjoy. There are few laugh out loud moments and you find yourself wondering just where the show might be going. You’re scratching your head half the time and not sure if you’re meant to be finding what’s happening amusing or just plain awkward.
These odd head scratching moments happen largely during the show’s interactive bits, which include Jones trying to convince an audience member to eat a massive pack of cheese, getting someone to slap him round the face and forcing someone to pretend to be his long lost girlfriend. It’s all rather strange and often bemuses rather than amuses. But Dan Jones is a good writer and performer and his humour is oddly fascinating. If you can get on board with the bizarre nature of the show, it’s pretty fun stuff.
Dan Jones: New Kid is a show that’s certainly not for everyone but deserves recommendation for being different, brave and for being a show which makes fun of the oddities and occasionally desperate nature of many fringe shows. Unfortunately it’s almost as much an example of one of these as it a commentary on them. Dan Jones: New Kid is interesting and rather funny but may be more miss than hit for many audiences.