Writer: Tony Staveacre
Director: Hanah Chissick
Reviewer: John Roberts
The Public Reviews Rating:
It is 1997 and Cilla Black is playing through the speakers whilst pictures of Frank Carson, Cannon & Ball and Ken Dodd hang on the wall of this fading Livapudlian working man’s club, a strongly designed set by Hannah DeWinton’s that evokes the era, location and atmosphere perfectly almost stealing the show.
Jigsy (Les Dennis) is a fading old time comedian, jaded and bitter at how the business is going, he spends the evening reminiscing about comedy and comedians in a love letter to an era soon to be forgotten.
Tony Staveacre’s script is gentle and warming, a text that isn’t too challenging it is filled with gag after gag, some hitting perfectly whilst other sadly landing flat on their faces. The script however is delivered with panache by Dennis who gives an entertaining performance that brings the audience into fits of laughter throughout. Dennis is a performer who knows how to work an audience and get them onside, helped along by Hannah Chissick’s smooth direction Jigsy never seems to outstay its welcome and the darker elements of the piece are pitched with careful precision and tough balancing act which seems to succeed nicely.
Whilst Jigsy may not be the most challenging piece of theatre, its ability to reminisce on an era so close to fading away into oblivion is touching and proves a worthy contender for your mid afternoon theatre fix.