Jonny Pelham: Optimism Over Despair 3.5*** - One4Review
one4review | On 27, Aug 2023
We welcome back Jonny Pelham to the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe and this time he’s come with his bindle full of trauma from his adventures at the Apollo, along with other over 18 content lore. If you don’t know already Jonny’s humour can be dark but for very good reasons, so don’t bring your 13-year-old to the show.
Jonny isn’t afraid to share some of his journey through sexual abuse and he does so by cleverly enveloping it with quirky punchlines and the safety of comical laughter. Yes, the content is hard hitting in places, but you will find yourself laughing along with Jonny self-deprecating himself.
I find artists like him who share really difficult times always create debate around whether it’s okay to do so or not. Comedy is an art and needs to be allowed to evolve and flourish in a sea of spectators- thank goodness for the Fringe! These types of trauma and experience require skill and Jonny has this and should not be asked to walk away from it.
In his set he does share some palatable stuff about his current relationship with his girlfriend Sophie. He jovially compares her successes with his own and tells us he casually uses her credit card now and then to pay for things.
He describes the awkward social moments when meeting people at events and sharing all the blunders from that. He brings to you his ideas on vegetarianism and weirdly makes a good point by mixing it up with ick-silly humour over some chickens.
This is no doubt a transitional show – Jonny is finding his way again after his Apollo moment. He obviously loves to perform and is a great personality to watch on stage. I am glad he swung back in, and I am really looking forward to his future works. Optimism over despair any day pal.
Reviewed by Jen
Pleasance Courtyard – Upstairs
Until 27 Aug