Is He a Bit Simon Jay? - Free

With an enviable variety of excellent voices and a real commitment to his physicality, Simon Jay skilfully portrays the various characters crammed into the tragic life story of his now deceased namesake, whose autopsy the audience are privileged to attend. Director Ben Nardone has clearly capitalised on Jay’s abilities, employing the minimum of costume and props required to differentiate the characters and arranging very quick, professional transitions between them. The result is a slick and entertaining one-man show.

It is possible that had Jay and his collaborator Scott Payne been forced to fit their show into a forty minute slot it would have been better for it.

Where it falls down is in the writing. This is not to say that it is not funny. There are some good lines and some well-crafted jokes in there and the observation of character and patterns of speech is frequently excellent. It is possible that had Jay and his collaborator Scott Payne been forced to fit their show into a forty minute slot it would have been better for it. As it is, the gaps between jokes feel long, especially towards the end of the show, when the snapshots of Jay’s life begin to seem functional more than funny.

The returning characters, appropriate to the structure of the show, further the storyline but do not seem to add to their own personalities sufficiently to justify their reappearance comedically. As a result the impact of the piece feels diluted. Nevertheless, it’s a solid Fringe show, and if you’re near the Counting House of an afternoon, worth popping in to see.

Reviews by Vyvyan Almond

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Epic theatre meets silly comedy in this one-man performance of a lifetime. ‘Sketch comedy at its finest’ (AYoungerTheatre.com). ‘So gifted … a chameleon’ (Rikki Beadle-Blair, director, Theatre Royal, Stratford East). ‘A brave and committed performance of some dark but invigorating material’ (David Benson, actor, Theatre Royal, Haymarket). ‘A strange and wild theatrical ride with lots of laughter along the way … you’ll find plenty to enjoy here’ (LGBT Theatre).