- Eddie Harrison
- 25 August 2019
This article is from 2019
Will Jackson's one man show aims to bring back the lost art of letter-writing
'Queer, coming-of-age comedy' reads the blurb for Will Jackson's show, but the comic phrases it rather more bluntly. 'I'm a massive bender,' he says, and such rude candour is very much part of his first solo fringe show. The concept is fairly simple; Jackson has accidentally stolen 300 stamps from his local post office, and he's going to revive dormant relationships and strike up new friends by using them to revive the lost art of letter writing.
Epistolary novels are rare; epistolary shows are unheard of, but Jackson's hour-long monologue manages to make its stamp-based conceit stick; he writes, under the guise of the child, to chocolate manufacturers and manages to get a supply of free edible buttons. But when he uses the same guise to send a bizarre idea for a Christmas ad campaign to John Lewis, they invite him to a meeting and his cover is blown. Failed relationships on Tinder and Grindr also lead to the correspondence of complaint, and there's a gear switch when Jackson reveals a family history of cancer and starts getting letters from his doctor.
Jackson is performing in, as he describes it, a 'shipping container', but his levels of engagement with the audience are highly charged and very friendly. There's something of Joe Lycett's dryness in the way Jackson details the highs and lows of his various encounters with bureaucrats and boyfriends alike, but there's also some energetic dance and a lot of paper flying around; this must be one of the 2019 Fringe's messiest shows. But there's also a subtle humanism in the way that Jackson constructs his diatribe and his personal misfortunes strike a universal chord; he may not be welcome back at his local post-office, but with such a dynamic persona, Fringe audiences will take Jackson back with open arms.
Assembly Rooms, run ended.