Spencer Jones: The Things We Leave Behind (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Spencer Jones: The Things We Leave Behind

credit: Jonathan Birch

Props and pranks that keep the world's woes away for an hour

'It's a bit silly'. Handed a slot on the Edinburgh Comedy Award shortlist for The Things We Leave Behind, Spencer Jones has surely already nabbed the much fought-over Understatement of 2019 Prize. Silly is one word for his act, total escapism are two more. There's no limit to his prop invention (he sticks all manner of objects onto and into his face), with a stage that's absolutely littered with artworks, and bits and pieces of stuff that don't even get a mention during the hour.

Although this is largely meaningless fare, there are troubles to be found within the narrative. We appear to all be in Jones' house as he comes back late at night and contemplating his comedy future. He's probably going to avoid the Edinburgh Fringe this year, though his wife seems keen for him to go. Can he support a family on his comedic earnings and what happens when you put pretend eyeballs into your actual eyes?

Halfway through, two small children are taken to the toilet by a grown-up woman. At the end, they are revealed to be Jones' actual family; quite what they make of seeing their dad in full daft flow while being laughed at by strangers will probably come out in the wash down the years. For now, their pop is a Fringe cult who keeps reeling in the crowds desperate for some light relief to ward off the horrors of this world. And to see how many pairs of glasses one man can fit onto his head.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug, 5.45pm, 23 Aug, 3.15pm, £12–£13 (£11–£12).

Spencer Jones: The Things We Leave Behind

  • 3 stars

Soho Theatre and United Agents Edinburgh Comedy Award and double BAFTA-nominated professional idiot Spencer Jones is back with his brand-new show. The Things We Leave Behind is an absurd mash-up of comedy styles, mixing looped music, props, stand-up, turbo clowning and puppets for your eyes, ears and face. Star of the…