Travis Jay: Funny, Petty, Cool
- Brian Donaldson
- 16 August 2019
This article is from 2019
A cool and sometimes funny set about masculinity today
Travis Jay kicks off with some amusing Edinburgh-inflected business about how mountain climbing is not a traditional activity for black people. So, his attempts to scale Arthur's Seat are unlikely to be believed by his pals when he returns home to London after this Fringe run, unless he resorts to some serious measures. Funny, Petty, Cool is mainly about masculinity, and its continuing evolution as we travel gingerly through the 21st century. We hear about his own thankfully dissipating road rage (he's a dad of two now so that's really neither funny nor cool), the bravado of boxers, and the notion of 'ugly crying'.
Jay does let the momentum drop with humdrum material about Love Island, the moral dilemmas of owning a sex doll, and his own moment of inadvertent TV fame, but he steps up the pace again as the finishing line looms into view. He makes some good points about the way gangs are reported differently in the media, with the young black men of Britain being treated on an entirely separate plane to the soft-shoe pedalling afforded to the seemingly glamorous Italian-American Mafiosi.
After all, they've had acres of relatively sympathetic films and TV made about them despite the horrendous crimes committed in their name. Not all of this material pulls in one direction, but Jay has the attitude and confidence to hopefully return with a stronger set.
Just the Tonic at The Mash House, until 25 Aug (not 16), 2.35pm, £5 (£4) in advance or donations at the venue.