Travis Jay’s stand-up act at the Soho Theatre manages to balance just enough acidic observation with warm-hearted wit to create a simply funny, true and uplifting experience.
As a sort of emotional coming-of-age story, Jay speaks with pride about his father, who inspired the show’s title Son of David, as his defender and champion growing up in south London and the inspiration of his comedian mother. Touching on glimpses of celebrity status (so near and yet so far as evidenced by being sent the least glamorous swag imaginable) and moving out of London to raise kids – but needing to return them on weekends for Lewisham lessons in grit and physical presence, Jay has constructed a show all about identity without once treading into the hackneyed ground of ‘identity politics’. Indeed, he finds a higher plane of astute and hilarious observation, be it as a commentator on a Twitter feud or even enacting an alien invasion of planet Earth, drawing on his impressive powers as a mimic.
Jay is a talent to watch because he has the rare gift of making the pointed jibes and calling out absurdities and injustices whilst neither raging, lecturing nor self-deprecating. His is a light, funny and celebratory touch; a refreshing and positive voice who is present and sane in an absurd world. With an honest exploration of his journey towards his own emotions, he offers a nuanced take on masculinity that feels fresh but unpretentious. Moving at the speed of culture, some of his most topical material may need to regenerate faster but at the core of his show is a hilarious and real guy with a compelling story to tell. Son of David is properly entertaining, check it out if you can.
Review by Mary Beer
Travis Jay: Son of David
Tue 21 – Sat 25 Jun 2022