Jonny Pelham: Before and After
The not-bitter tale of a young Yorkshireman’s difficult life
This article is from 2015.
Jonny Pelham is a unique young man (for the record, he plumps for ‘weird’ as the catch-all self-description). One of only 200 people In the UK who have popliteal pterygium syndrome, he was born with a cleft palate, webbed feet and more nipples than is standard. Merrily getting on with teenage life, the NHS stepped in to offer him reconstructive surgery which was of a purely cosmetic nature; the Before and After of the title suggests that this operation was a turning point in his life, both physically and psychologically.
Avoiding a steadfastly ‘woe is me’ tale, the Yorkshire comic discusses a gig that went horribly wrong and led to him receiving the ‘worst present ever’ while he bristles at the notion that he is fundamentally ‘brave’ simply because of what he has rather than anything to do with his actions.
What Pelham goes on to attempt next in comedy will be just as intriguing as this debut. Perhaps he’ll do a Wil Hodgson and continue to mine the ‘origins’ story that makes him stand out from the stand-up crowd or he might decide that he’s got all that out of the way now. He certainly has the talent to successfully do whatever he so pleases.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 6.45pm, £7–£9.50 (£6.50–£9).