Posts Tagged Simon Jay

@JohnLewis: Never Knowingly Undertweeted

johnlewis

Simon Jay gives a compelling performance in this one man show

Venue 93
Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom – The Basement
12:00
Aug 4-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-26
1 hour

Simon Jay gives a versatile performance in this fascinating one-man show. Based on a true story, the play is about an American teacher called John Lewis whose twitter account is confused with that of the well known co-operative Department Store. A strange tale and no wonder that the Standard picked it as one of the ten quirkiest shows of the Fringe!

It’s a story that is funny but raises serious questions about identity, corporate branding and social media. Jay portrays different roles apart from John Lewis including customers and staff at the HQ of the store. Jay oozes energy and humour. I liked his miming of shaving and his dancing (Jay is quite a physical performer!).

I should make special mention to the enjoyable and diverse music soundtrack which accompanies the show and underlines themes in the script. Best of all the show is part of the free festival so go along, enjoy and put money (what you can afford) in the bucket at the end!

Reviewed by Pat Harrington

#IntoTheUnknown #EdFringe2018 #EdFringe

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Trumpageddon

Venue 14
Gilded Balloon Teviot – Wine Bar
16:00
Aug 3-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-27
1 hour
trumpageddon

Simon Jay gives an energetic performance as Trump

Simon Jay attempts to parody the US President. His difficulty is, partly, that Trump is so out there that he is difficult to satirise. It’s easy to fall into presenting a caricature and that’s what happens here. We are all familiar with Trump’s boasting and inconsistency and even the crudity expressed here toward female members of the audience and regarding members of own family and political figures doesn’t shock.

Jay describes himself as a “queer performer and life long socialist” and no one can fault his passion or commitment. He gives an energetic performance and stays in role on and off stage. Jay got a lot right in Trump’s speech patterns, mannerisms and standard responses. “Beautiful” as Trump might say!
There were funny moments (I liked the version of Mein Herr from Cabaret, My Hair, for instance). Simon/Trump was also entertaining when dealing with individual members of the audience. . I also liked that the show tried to keep up with events. When I went references were made to the release of Tommy Robinson.
However the show is not well scripted. The “soul catching” routine goes nowhere. A section with the ghosts of the Founding Fathers is an interesting concept but lacks punch. The side to Trump that is a calculating politician playing to his audience isn’t explored. It simply presents trump as a buffoon and a dirty old man. It’s maybe an uncomfortable truth to confront that Trump is a populist giving answers (often bad) to real problems. He is tapping into discontent with the American economy, “liberal elites”, immigration and crime. If you don’t address that then you are simply value signaling to people who think the same as you do.
It’s a shame as Trumpageeddon has the potential to be a great show. To be so the writer would need to check his prejudices at the door and seek to understand what the appeal of Trump is to many Americans. Presentation of that would give this show an edge which is lacking.
Reviewed by Pat Harrington
#Trumpageddon #edfringe2018 #EdFringe #IntoTheUnknown

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