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Travis Jay: Son of David at Soho Theatre, Downstairs

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.

Travis Jay
Travis Jay

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.

4 stars

Review by Mary Beer

Travis Jay: Son of David
Tue 21 – Sat 25 Jun 2022
Soho Theatre

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  • Mary Beer

    Mary graduated with a cum laude degree in Theatre from Columbia University’s Barnard College in New York City. In addition to directing and stage managing several productions off-Broadway, Mary was awarded the Helen Prince Memorial Prize in Dramatic Composition for her play Subway Fare whilst in New York. Relocating to London, Mary has worked in the creative sector, mostly in television broadcast and production, since 1998. Her creative and strategic abilities in TV promotion, marketing and design have been recognised with over 20 industry awards including several Global Promax Golds. She is a founder member of multiple creative industry and arts organisations and has frequently served as an advisor to the Edinburgh International TV Festival.

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