Jonny Sweet - Let's Just Have Some Fun
Derailing a show about a boat
This article is from 2010.
So how do you follow up a hugely silly but wildly successful PowerPoint-happy Fringe hit? You go a step further and make Let’s Just Have Some Fun (And Learn Something for Once), a freewheeling romp about awkward failure and a terribly helpful lecture rolled into one. Last summer’s show revolved around Jonny Sweet’s not-actually-real brother Arthur, a once-successful but recently deceased book blurbist. With Arthur’s reputation having been soiled, Sweet sets out to rescue his memory amid a cruel world.
This time around, Sweet’s character (pink shirt, bow-tie, sharp trousers) appears to have once served on the HMS Nottingham, a vessel which has seen better days. Amid a series of ludicrous slides and quaintly bizarre statements (‘that’s the broccoli, here’s the cabbage’), he takes us firmly by the hand through the life of a largely decommissioned frigate, just about dealing with some hostility from one unimpressed crowd member while the likes of Tim Key and Mark Watson look on. Like last year’s Best Newcomer-winning show, there is a great deal of physicality between performer and audience with Sweet greeting the entering crowd with bear hugs or kisses on top of the head. And he invites a confident front row member to join him in bootcamp where the protracted build-up to a duel takes place.
Of course, a lecture about a fading boat can only go so far, but when it all appears to be coming down around his ears, equally nonsensical back-up plans are activated. A wildly funny beginning and finale bookend a large segment of awkwardness which deliberately derail the project til Sweet brings it all back home. The judges who took to Jonny Sweet last year could do a lot worse than popping back in again this time around.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug (not 16), 7.30pm, £10.50–£12 (£9–£10.50).