Technical issues hampered the comic on more than one occasion, and one occasion too long to forget. But to give Jones his due, he was confined to a cramped room that made the Chokey from Matilda look comfortable. It also didn’t help that the room was composed mostly of non-native English speakers who could only grasp snippets of the punchline, but he adapted well to this, revealing the strength in his improvisation skills.
A commendable, fresh face to see.
As a collective, Falling With Style doesn’t do itself justice with its awkwardly segmented structure that doesn’t flow smoothly but stutters in places, worsened by the faulty microphone. It does, however, pay homage to its title with clear input and intriguing, critical analysis of Pixar’s best-known titles including Toy Story, The Incredibles, Up and, without intending it, Finding Nemo. This section of the show is profound and offers its own self-contained world to be explored, but again it feels too clunkily arranged; rather than interweaving the Pixar skit throughout the entirety of the show, it is sectioned off into very clearly banded sections. Don’t get me wrong, it is clever and funny, but it needs to be marathoned out, not sprinted. More frustrating is the reappearing ‘punchlines’ section, curtesy of Jones’ diary. Hit and miss is putting it lightly; there are some gems, but he should save this as a single occurrence for the best and most accessible ones.
Jones has all the makings of a future comic triumph, but he needs to tidy up his act in certain places. His routine is compact enough not to drag, but to prove he is the real deal he needs to ditch his material notes hoisted on an orchestra stand. Where he shows most promise is his quick-witted ability to think on his feet and respond deftly to his audience with aplomb. It is truly his remarkable optimism that carries his show, ironic given his open avowal for the perks of a pessimistic lifestyle. But perhaps that is the crux of the argument; indeed, he truly excels when he is unhappy. No, what Jones lacks is stage set up, preparation and a proper venue, though the latter is harder to come by.
So what to make of David von Jones? Simply that he is learning and growing in his comedic output. He will likely succeed to become a memorable Fringe name in years to come, but right now he needs to take time to iron out the creases and get a better grasp of improving the flow of his routine. But for what it’s worth, he is nonetheless a commendable, fresh face to see right now.