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Edinburgh Fringe 2022

With all Jew respect

Henry Churniavsky

Genre: Comedy, Stand-Up

Venue: The Space on the Mile


Low Down

“My show is about growing up, getting old and having an 88-year-old Jewish mother (now with no filter) who is making me ‘Jewrotic’ (neurotic and Jewish.) And the family don’t help! I will cover from being 8 days old to being 63 and having a mid-life crisis somewhere in the middle. I discuss the menopause, having twins and organising a Jewish wedding (yes it is different as is Jewish Zoom!) Topics also include my wife, my dad, lockdown and surgical procedures (too many to mention now!)”


Henry Churniavsky is our host for an enjoyable, quick-witted hour of stand-up comedy at the Space on the Mile.  Henry is a genial host and on top of his material and in regular contact with his audience. we are taken through childhood, growing up in Liverpool and the key cornerstones of a comedic Jewish raconteur are all present: mothers, guilt, food, family dynamics, “Jewrosis”, and hypochondria. and occasional insights into life in Liverpool add a unique flavour to the narrative.

The show is packed with Mason-esque one liners, for example, “the secret of a happy marriage is still a secret”. His wife happened to be in the audience in this show and I take my keeper off to her for shoving her hubby onto the stage to be a comedian. He knows what he is doing, and she clearly does too. he also stands out on his own as a performer – some poised timing, precise eye contact and perfect timing on some of those payoff lines.

Henry reveals his father was the inspiration for his comedy and I think dad would be proud of the boy. The show donates all proceeds to mental health charities. Perhaps some of the passion for that cause might find its way into one or two of the anecdotes/ It is in that challenging territory that comedy can really come alive and inspire as well as entertain. and Henry is a gold standard entertainer.

Now, onto some review business. The show is better when in storytelling mode. This is because a narrative unfolds and draws the whole audience in. We want to meet this family, this friends; we are with him when he recounts his rougher times, at school, out on the streets as a younger man on the hunt for that first kiss, and maybe more. Generously delivered, funny and wise story-telling lies at the heart of the show. I was less satisfied when he drew upon a few (rougher) stand-up set pieces that strayed too far from that narrative. Some of those gags felt a bit force-fitted in, fallen back upon and, funny as they were, they took us away from the core.

That said, the comedy is of a consistently high standard and young and older were entertained and laughter was spread throughout the audience.

This is a very pleasing and satisfying near-hour in the company of of an accomplished stand-up comedian, storyteller, philosopher with a cheeky grin and the occasional swipe at his mother (who he clearly loves to bits). He’s a host that left me wanting to follow him out of the theatre into the bar to continue the not always kosher conversation.