Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Jonny Sweet returns to the Pleasance to a crowd of expectation: will he be able to repeat the roaring success of “Mostly About Arthur”? The answer is inequitably yes. Let’s all have fun and learn something is completely original, yet cements Sweet’s eccentric but endearing style. This show is brilliant, a must see for anyone who values new writing combined with an exceptional sharp performance.
The premise of the piece is a lecture, delivered by high-waisted trouser, pink shirt and bow tied Johnny Sweet, about the now decommissioned HMS Nottingham. Sounds riveting, no? Sweet takes us through the sections of the lecture: from plumbing, to allowing women on board, to the ship’s eventual demise.
Most other performers would, firstly, not even tackle such an obscure topic and secondly, simply wouldn’t be able to make it entertaining. Sweet could talk about watching paint dry and make it enjoyable and engaging. His goofy professor with a sinister edge persona is both convincing and utterly hilarious and, just like in every day lectures, you sit on the edge on your seat, looking away when questions are asked, in case lecturer Sweet picks you out of the crowd. As an actor and comedian, Sweet really has made a name for himself and he deserves every success, every complimentary word written about him.
The script is full of Sweetisms – “wowzers trousers” and “I cannot soz enough” – that build upon the characterisation of Sweet. At times, the writing can get a little close the lines of acceptability: getting the entire female audience to apologise for their very existence is risky, but it is executed in a tongue in cheek fashion, so he cunningly gets away with it.
By the time this will be published, this show will have almost certainly sold out, thus I can’t really tell you to rush and buy tickets and many people will leave the box office of the pleasance disappointed. I suppose all I can say is this, to those who have tickets to the wonderful, magical performer that is Jonny Sweet you are very very lucky. This is undoubtedly one of the best shows at the Fringe and I whole-heartedly hope, or actually expect, that he will sail away with a ship-full of awards come the end of the month.