Jonny Pelham: Fool's Paradise
An adorable misfit abruptly concludes his promising hour
This article is from 2016.
As 'the only white guy at school', with his therapist parents and possessing a dysfunctional body that he argues disproves the existence of God, Jonny Pelham is an adorable misfit. He describes himself as a 'socially anxious man' and details the misadventures his unease has got him into over the years.
Calling to mind a young Daniel Kitson, Pelham launches into a funny tale about how he failed to thwart a robbery happening to a girl he fancied, the incidental details of which quickly get everyone on his side. He's a smart guy from a high-achieving family (he, his mother and sister all have Masters while his father has a PHD) and he applies a fierce intelligence and slightly skewed worldview to events around him (again with the Kitson comparison).
'There are lots of kids in here. That might be a problem later on,' he chuckles nervously as he scans a row of 14-year-olds. When we reach the offending material – an extended piece on paedophile teachers – Pelham's natural warmth and nervous energy get him by. Proceedings come to a slightly abrupt end and it feels like a more considered conclusion would have been fitting. If nothing else it would be nice to spend a little longer in Pelham's company.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug, 8.30pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10).