Despite actually performing a written and rehearsed show, likeable Geordie Jason Cook could easily rabble on and use the audience as his material and still have a much better hour than a lot of comics on the Fringe, whilst upsetting no-one in the process. In-between this audience conversation, is an actual theme and personal account about his several breakdowns over the last few years and personal battles with anxiety problems.
As his promotional materials will give away, he is in fact the writer and creator of the former BBC sitcom Hebburn, if like me you weren’t overly convinced by it, either way one would realise Hebburn could never really capture the capacity for how intensely funny and quick witted Jason is. Whilst not the rosiest of topics, Jason manages to address his illness by almost wrapping them in Christmas lights, fashioning his own tragedy into comical laughter that allows him to talk honestly and openly without pining for a sense of empathy, further proved when he mocks the idea of theme in an Edinburgh show. But he will be fully aware that a bit or a lot of heart goes a long way in an Edinburgh Fringe show.
Tied in with some anecdotes about his wife constantly belittling him, his daughter falling out of love with him, ending up in hospital next to care free camp drug addicts, the show is constructed together very tightly with a potent combination of heart, truth, tragedy and some very good call back. Sometimes he can be guilty of not allowing himself or the audience to breathe, perhaps there still lies a nervousness to take in and let the audience laugh longer in some moments. Pretty much sold, the audience look more than pleased with how much they spent on their, well half price tickets, but certainly they’d be little bemoaning if anyone were to pay the full asking ticket price. Jason has the charm, endearment and wit more so than most BBC ‘headline’ comedians stifling the primetime and easily deserves a bigger room. Chronically funny.