Using only the bare essentials of a guitar, some toy instruments, and a few lighting changes, Jonny Awsum delivers an hour of musical comedy with plenty of laughs and the sort of thing musical theatre PR people call the ‘feelgood factor’ (minus the attendant West End nonsense).
Whether a casual comedy goer or someone who likes their acts a bit more cerebral, Awsum’s enthusiasm and bonhomie makes this an hour well worth the six quid entry.
Awsum opens by telling us that a lot of his work is done warming up TV audiences, most recently for one half of The Great British Bake Off judging team (not Mary Berry, the other one). Looking back on it, the entire show was a sort of ‘hype man’ performance. There was no narrative thread running through it, nor any clever call-backs or references. The show wasn’t lacking for this, it just meant that much of the show’s success was dependent on the strength of the songs, which delivered. The hour was very well paced and rarely were you willing a song to end.
Unusually for a musical comedy act, audience participation played a big role, but definitely added to the performance. Credit to Awsum for this and for not resorting to getting cheap laughs from the participants’ awkwardness (this reviewer counting among that motley crew). He was genuinely encouraging, setting people at their ease and allowing them to get into the spirit of it.
Just after ten o’clock is the ideal timeslot for a show like this – having a few drinks beforehand will always make people more likely to sing and play along. Whether a casual comedy goer or someone who likes their acts a bit more cerebral, Awsum’s enthusiasm and bonhomie makes this an hour well worth the six quid entry.