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Josh Jones: Gobsmacked at Pleasance Courtyard, Baby Grand

I am grateful for Josh Jones reminding the audience (the whole audience, of course, not just me) that he can see everyone in the crowd – a disputed point, perhaps, given some comedians at the Fringe make a point of saying they can’t see us all in the darkness, which goes some way to explaining their repeated invitations to ‘make some noise’, which is apparently the only way they know we haven’t all decided to leave the room. But it wasn’t a threat: Josh (so friendly that it’s first name terms only, even in a review) knows he can’t ‘do’ threatening, with his voice being as camp as it is, a point he demonstrates with the example of a lone woman in the same late-night train carriage whose concerned expression suddenly changed seconds after Jones’ mobile phone rang and he began a conversation with a friend.

Josh Jones
Josh Jones

There was, in the end, a point to divulging the relationship status of his older brother: not having a significant other means Josh is invariably his brother’s plus one at live events. Quite understandably, in my humble opinion anyway, he decided against going in the ‘mosh pit’ at a Limp Bizkit gig, horrified at the sight before him. Then there are sporting fixtures – more specifically, football matches. Thanks to miscellaneous television appearances, Josh was recognised at a match he attended at Wembley Stadium. Off the back of that, he agreed to another television show, except this one was about football, a subject which Josh admits he isn’t exactly a fountain of knowledge. But he didn’t do it for the money – it was to wind up all his comedian friends who love football and hadn’t been invited on as a guest panellist on something called MOTDx (my thanks to a fellow punter who reminded me what it was called).

Josh covers a lot of ground in an hour – being heckled whilst doing the Northern comedy circuit is a rather different vibe to the relatively classier Edinburgh Fringe (I doubt content warnings and civilised queue lines are part of the experience at bolshy working men’s clubs). He is, although he doesn’t use the word, a paradox: a guy who can headbutt other grown men in self-defence but struggles to cope when faced with geese. And then there’s bedroom activity – he’s having far better sex at thirty than he was at twenty – and recollections of some of his experiences brought the house down.

This is a confident and assured comedy hour from a hugely likeable and talented man who has come a long way from wanting to turn his back on standup altogether because the homophobic abuse was getting to him. I hope he doesn’t stop any time soon: rays of sunshine like him are sorely needed in a dark and depressing world.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Josh is Gobsmacked at turning thirty, so this is his ‘coming of age’ show. He has taken up boxing (for self defence reasons), canoeing and he knows that he definitely wants his own family. He’s got a massive problem with Geese and his Mum’s physic is helping him work it all out. Come and see how our Mancunian ray of sunshine is getting on.

Pleasance Courtyard, Baby Grand
2nd-27th (not 14th) August at 8.20pm

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