Spencer Jones: The Things We Leave Behind

Spencer Jones took last year’s Edinburgh Fringe off, but did he waste his time idling? Not a chance. The comic has been beavering away like a cross between Rene Magritte and Arthur Steptoe, with not only a son but a daughter too, assembling a rambling, silly, and very funny show packed with laughs and unexpected left turns.

A rambling, silly, and very funny show packed with laughs and unexpected left turns

We’re invited into the life and home of Jones as he explores the titular things we leave behind – those bits of material life that get cast aside from time to time, from shopping lists to household appliances abandoned in the street. In a string of musical interludes, clowning, family anecdotes and prop-comedy, the comedian moves from one to another, always in surprising ways.

A deconstructed vacuum cleaner becomes an array of madcap characters. A puppet becomes a dancing, singing beatboxer. Nostrils become eyeballs. Del Boy becomes foul mouthed. One after the other surreal interludes tumble from the mind of the Jones and onto the stage. It’s not always the most organised display, and the jumble leads to one or two pauses in the delivery of laughter, but it’s never long before things are back on track.

The musical sections are all strong, with a looper being used to excellent effect, including some great pre-recorded support from Jones’ children. The puppetry is similarly strong, complimenting the comic’s consistently funny physical comedy. A display of Jones art is more of a mixed bag, mostly hits with a couple of near misses. Through it all jones remains engaging, and when the audience is involved it is consistently good natured.

There’s a broad streak of child-like joy running through the heart of The Things We Leave Behind. That sense of wonder and silliness is something the comic certainly hasn’t discarded and if it’s a feeling that you can embrace then this show is well worth taking in this year.

Reviews by Alec Martin

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The Blurb

Edinburgh Comedy Award and double BAFTA-nominated professional idiot Spencer Jones is back with his brand-new show. The Things We Leave Behind is an absurd mash-up of comedy styles, mixing looped music, props, stand-up, turbo clowning and puppets for your eyes, ears and face. Star of the upcoming BBC series Mr Winner and The Mind of Herbert Clunkerdunk. 'One of the silliest, most consuming shows of the Fringe' ***** (Times). 'Unadulterated dumb genius' ****½ (Chortle.co.uk). 'Gleefully madcap' **** (Guardian). 'Solid belly laughs' **** (Scotsman). 'Utterly delightful' **** (Time Out).

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