Jack Barry – High Treason

Now, no matter your stance on drugs there’s one reasonable reaction seeing a man in a suit covered in weed leaves. That’s second-hand embarrassment. But, it fits perfectly with the manic persona of Barry, and adds some levity to the very weighty topic of the war on drugs. Barry is of the firm belief that all drugs should be legalised, and through a series of increasingly eccentric true stories he wants to make you believe so too.

It’s a quickfire show that utilises Barry’s self-deprecating absurdism fantastically. However, it would all have fallen apart if Barry came across as a The Dude-esque “just legalize it maaaan” type, but he avoids that for the most part. In fact, in the later stage of the show he has an impressive collection of statistics to back his point. Some of these do come off a bit unfounded possibly, but he does supply the counter arguments to how he is aware of why drugs are a controversial issue to discuss. It’s with great glee that he delves into the overwhelming dangers of alcohol consumption, and this provides a relatable section for those not aware of drug culture in modern Britain.

What’s slightly disappointing is that despite the tight knit nature of his comedy, when Barry slips or falters he obviously really lets it get to him, despite the audience hanging off his every word. Too often he deters what he deems as an awkward silence by drawing attention to his suit, which is possibly the show’s weakest gag. In fairness though, this is a rarity in the show and may have been down to any number of outside factors unrelated to the comedy, which for the most part is excellent.

★★★★

Patrick Dalziel