Sometimes, you can never be fully prepared for what a show you are going to see will present to you. A case in point is Spencer Jones Is The Herbert In Proper Job which is drawing in the crowds at the Soho Theatre. When I arrived at the theatre, I saw the poster for the show – which is itself quite interesting – and so was ready for what Spencer was going to throw at me. Or so I thought. In reality nothing could have prepared me for the magical slice of comedic entertainment about to head my way.
The show is in Soho Downstairs – or the basement studio as I thought of it – which is a really lovely cabaret space complete with large stage and bar on the side. There was music playing as we entered the space and I have to admit it didn’t fill me with confidence. I’m not sure if it was the choice of Spencer or the Soho Theatre but it was a sort of segued Chas and Dave medley – only without Chas and Dave – and I found it really irritating. It then changed to something even worse, and I was really glad, though not feeling that ready to be entertained, when the music stopped, lights went down and Spencer came on the stage.
What can I say? Spencer is tall, and appears taller in his white tights, budgie tee-shirt and sports jacket. Facially, he is, as the books say, a personable young man with a pudding bowl haircut and one of the most infectious laughs I’ve ever heard. So, what type of comedian is young Spencer I hear you ask. Well according to Wikipedia, there are 19 different types of comedy (although another website says 24) and if I had to put Spencer in one of them I really couldn’t, but I think he covers about 6 types and does all of them very well.
A lot of the show comes from items Spencer has bought during late night sittings in front of the internet – and the uses he puts them to. And its has to be said, Spencer has a very impressive imagination, I have yet to meet anyone else that can find so many uses for latex gloves – all of them clean, there were children in the audience. The show lasts around an hour and, personally, I would have been happy with a bit longer, another 30 minutes or so would have been great. It is a varied show with Spencer performing, sometimes with props, sometimes as different characters, sometimes as a musician/singer and ending with some very well managed audience participation which, going by the faces of the people participating, is as much fun to do as it is to watch.
All told then, Spencer Jones Is The Herbert In Proper Job is a great show delivered by a superb comic who really knows how to work his audience and take any Victor Meldrew out there and turn them into a “Mr Happy on Acid”. A thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable show that had me leaving the theatre and going out into the the world with a big grin on my face and a spring in my step.
Review by Terry Eastham
NOMINEE: Chortle Award 2016 – Breakthrough Act
NOMINEE: Chortle Award 2016 – Music and Variety Award
Fresh from an acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe and sell-out October run, BAFTA-nominated star Spencer Jones is back at Soho Theatre with his joyful hour of goofery.
An unlikely hero dressed in white tights and a T-shirt with a photo of a budgie on it. Childlike and cheeky, The Herbert would much rather splurge cash on trinkets from the internet than knuckle under. He’s amassed quite a collection and has more than a few ideas of how he can pass the time with them. His wife and relatives despair of him, he’s a dad after all – and there is something strangely wrong about his baby son! Finding and quickly losing a job in a nuclear power plant, and waiting on hospital results for his son, The Herbert cheers himself with some mucking about of the highest order, using objects from the ordinary to the plain weird in ways beyond what they were intended for. It’s something to do right?
A show about failing, failure, how to fail and why you sometimes have to fail to win.
Running Time: 60mins
Age recommendation: 16+
SOHO THEATRE & UNITED AGENTS PRESENT
SPENCER JONES IS THE HERBERT IN PROPER JOB
Tuesday 8th – Saturday 19th March 2016, 7.30pm