I:M

Edinburgh Fringe Series: Spencer Jones is The Herbert in 'Proper Job'

I:M
Edinburgh Fringe Series: Spencer Jones is The Herbert in 'Proper Job'

He thrusts, he giggles, he murmurs a lot.

Meet Mr Bean reborn, with even more eccentricity. A caricature come to life, Spencer Jones embodies the naughty child that all adults have learnt to suppress. The thing is, Jones is 40, over 6ft (I suspect) and very aware that his immature persona is out of place in the adult world – where Mr Bean was not. And this is exactly why the show is one of a kind.

His stand-up follows his own self (whether fictional or not) as he stumbles through a few life events – such as getting a new job and having a baby – seemingly never able to shake off the allure of acting with immaturity. He also manages to slip into a range of different characters, becoming his father, brother and even his own wife with just his voice, a pair of fake eyes and a great deal of innovativeness. His skill lies in his pretence to be the unintentional fool – he mocks himself excellently through other characters, whilst his use of props takes on the childish attitude we still maintain towards toys, for example, turning rubber gloves into talking figures.

However, his main communication with the audience is through gestures and facial expressions, usually indicating bewilderment followed by cheekiness, as he fiddles with the latest bizarre object he has discovered, such as sponges with faces drawn on (it’s best not to ask). He then takes clichés out of content, applying sentiment to foolish objects. Who knows where he came up with such ideas? Jones also pretends to have no idea as well, but this mask is actually part of a polished performance. He is self-aware but anything from self-conscious.

The only criticism I would have is for the few moments when his act seems to run thin on the ground, and his slapstick humour appears predictable. However, Jones appears to anticipate such, and instead turns the moments into unexpected hilarity with twice the energy.

I know, it’s difficult to explain.The thing is, you can’t; you just have to see it. I certainly never thought I would enjoy this type of humour, but it was the highlight of my day. The crazy-eyed man of white tights, who reinvents slapstick from a specific genre into the comedy which suits everyone – with just a cheeky grin, snigger and a few props. I would definitely recommend this – Jones doesn't go outside of the box, he reinvents it.

*****

Kate Nicholson

Editor

Originally posted on: http://edfringereview.com/