Jason Cook: Broken (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

Jason Cook: Broken

Plenty of laughs and decent stories but this Edinburgh Fringe stand-up show lacks higher significance

At the top of Jason Cook’s solo Fringe career, he wowed audiences and critics with My Confessions and Joy, deeply personal, incredibly moving yet hugely funny shows about his family. Since then, he’s become a father and written Hebburn, a BBC sitcom about the community he grew up in, while still trying to keep his hand in with the stand-up.

The stress of it all has led him to this show, Broken, featuring the ongoing battle between his inner child and adult responsibility. He might still traipse up and down the country to earn the family crust and help fund his wife’s further education, but all he wants for Christmas is a lightsaber from Forbidden Planet. Still, surely he’ll get respite from his woes with a family holiday? Well, not when the destination is the ‘middle-class concentration camp’ of Center Parcs. Little wonder, then, that Cook has sought solace in therapy, though his largely negative experiences with a string of counsellors also provides hearty material.

Those early shows still linger fondly in the memory of those who witnessed them, and while Broken has plenty laughs and decent stories, it feels like stand-up that’s wrestling for a higher significance.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 24 Aug (not 18), 5.40pm, £8.50–£11.50 (£7–£10).

Jason Cook: Broken

Sharp humour and upbeat storytelling from the Geordie stand-up and writer of BBC 2 sitcom Hebburn.