Will Jackson is in a bit of a pickle. Having stolen 300 second class stamps from the post office, Jackson has decided, rather than to return them once realising his mistake, to commence work on a little project. He is going to write some letters. Letters to current friends, past loves, and a few people who will probably never reply. For 60 minutes, Jackson invites you to share in every hilarious scheme and heart aching attempt at human connection.
One of the funniest, most moving one person shows of the entire fringe.
It is genuinely very difficult to write five star reviews, because often there is so little to mention except to repeatedly call out a show’s positives. Jackson makes this job doubly difficult, by providing one of the funniest, most moving one person shows of the entire Fringe. Consisting merely of the letters Jackson has sent, and received, since committing petty theft, the masterful storyteller carefully wades through friendships and romances with buckets of genuine feeling and a depressing dollop of relatability.
It is a premise that could easily become quite stale quite quickly, but Jackson’s genius is in switching up the formula. Our protagonist indulges not only in exchanges with friends and acquaintances, but scribbles sneakily under invented personas to establishments that he otherwise might not have the confidence to contact. In an excellent segment, Jackson pitches an incredible idea for the next John Lewis Christmas advert, writing of course as a nine year old. In more straightforward parts, Jackson’s writing cleverly recaps more difficult periods of his life, allowing him to articulate things he does not feel comfortable saying face to face. A familiar sentiment, these letters allow Jackson to really emote, and it is rare to see either a performer or a production that is quite so charmingly honest. Between all of these, Jackson never lets the energy drop, a whirlwind of unbridled fun as he lipsyncs magnificently. In terms of design, the humble set of paper filled boxes and general office aesthetic allows for fantastically choreographed navigation of the stage, and playful direction.
Amidst shows dealing with hot topics and unresolvable debate, Yours Sincerely is a wonderful breath of fresh air. The magic of the piece is in how Jackson makes the everyday – quite literally his everyday – seem so extraordinary. Mining so much comedy from Jackson’s simple and brilliant actions and emotions, Your Sincerely does more than just remind us of a beautiful art form slowly becoming lost in an age of technology. The piece demonstrates the warm human connections that can be built, and the fun that can be had, if we all just take the time to focus on communicating with one another.