Well-crafted, life-affirming stuff
This article is from 2010.
It’s a cliché that comedians just want to be loved, but Jason Cook tries awfully hard to endear himself. Welcoming the audience into The End (Part 1), he lightly teases a few individuals, joshes with a reviewer he recognises and seeks advice and reassurance about his material throughout. All the time he gently (and successfully) cajoles, nudges and flatters the crowd into liking him, so when he mentions terrible things he has done, the effect is of a loveable rogue rather than an animal-torturing, emotionally-stunted manchild. By similar sleight-of-hand, the genial Geordie’s seemingly haphazard show belies a tightly structured core.
Around the premise of re-evaluating life after a brush with death run digressions and narratives covering relationships, the comedy business, arguing techniques and Gok Wan, tied together with cross-references and call-backs that never feel forced. Some of the material is less than revelatory but delivered with such apparent honesty and emotion that Cook is impossible not to like. He may be a high maintenance partner, as evidenced by a letter he reads from his wife, but as a comedian he makes it easy.
The Stand III & IV, 558 7272, until 29 Aug, 3pm, £8 (£7).