Spencer Jones Presents The Herbert in Eggy Bagel

Following the success of last years show ‘Spencer Jones is The Herbert in Proper Job’ must be quite a task, although Jones seems to be coping well. ‘Proper Job’ is enjoying a victory lap at The Underbelly, and for his new hour he has been upgraded to the big room in The Hive, to allow the throng of new fans. In Eggy Bagel Jones has lots of new toys to play with; no spoilers here, but the gags require more sophisticated gadgetry than last year. This means more can potentially go wrong, but that’s all part of the fun.

Jones, as The Herbert, still uses household items and appliances for the majority of the jokes, although The Herbert can get a laugh with a well-timed noise and his inviting grin. Last year The Herbert was nearly non-verbal, only muttering the occasional meta in-joke. This year he has a lot more to say, perhaps a sign that the character of The Herbert is fading away. He tells a story about his father, which is very funny and darkly sweet, but it does take something away from The Herbert’s uniqueness. Still, it shakes things up a little, and the show retains The Herbert’s dark edge.

At times it feels like a work-in-progress, but it’s still definitely worth seeing, even if the thought of prop comedy gives you the willies. Jones is an faultless performer, able to sell both the somber and sweet moments and make something out of a gag gone wrong. For another year, The Herbert is a must-see.

★★★★

Stuart Addison

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