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Jonny Sweet: Mostly About Arthur
Jonny talks mostly about his late brother Arthur (a quite-highly-regarded writer of blurbs - on the back of books etc) with the aid of video, powerpoint presentation and a 2-minute biopic play. From BBC2’s Winging It & the acclaimed House Of Windsor comes Jonny’s highly-anticipated debut solo show.
Jonny Sweet: Mostly About Arthur - Fringe 2009
Jonny Sweet has just landed a role playing the young David Cameron in a More 4 drama-documentary – so there may be a cautionary tale here. For while he is charming and keen to ingratiate himself with the promise of something different and new, when it comes to doing the business, he soon runs out of ideas.
There is no doubt that Sweet could very probably be a major comedy talent of the future: he has the distinctive look of a dopey but well-meaning middle-class chump, and the performance skills to exploit that deliciously.
But Mostly About Arthur feels like a one-sketch idea, too insubstantial to drag out to an hour, despite some impressive flourishes.
Fighting back his nerves, the enthusiastic but easily-flustered Sweet is here to pay tribute to his dead brother, one of the country’s leading writer of blurbs for the back covers of books, with The Furtive Fork and Guantanamo Gay among his greatest hits.
Sweet’s insistence that the hour be ‘bloody fun’ and not just a maudlin eulogy begins as we file in, greeted with affectionate hugs and information about local restaurants that offer a delivery service should we get peckish. Interaction – and, indeed, invasion of personal space, continues throughout the show, offering a break from the de rigueur PowerPoint presentation telling of Arthur’s life from popular Filey schoolboy to blurbist fame, overcoming his nemesis – the reviewer against whom Sweet bears an enduringly overblown grudge.
There’s painstaking attention to comic detail here, and Sweet’s vulnerable persona, trying in vain to conceal his insecurities behind an awkwardly fixed smile, is enduring. But there’s really only so much he can do with the central idea and so, sadly, the padding overwhelms the moments of inspiration. Others in the audience forgave him that, suggesting even this show could have a cult following, but for me, this is frustratingly far from realising Sweet’s potential.
|Date of live review: Monday 17th Aug, '09|
Review by Steve Bennett
Jonny sweet is going to be a massive star, this show is wonderfully inventive, fresh and daft, it had the audience in hysterics the night I was there. The guy is what, 23, 24? with three successful shows behind him already. It's a little raw in places but that what makes it so exciting. get a ticket if you can.
IF 'nice' was a steamroller it would be Jonny Sweet. He personally escorts every act to his seat, breaking down all physical boundaries on the way. The show isn't easy to describe, but it is the best thing I have seen at the Fringe so far. In a small room in the Pleasance Courtyard - Jonny Sweet tells the story of his brother Arthur. The show is a personal In Memoriam. Innocence and nonsence are the key words here, and you leave with the knowledge that something lovely and lucky has happened to you. You have laughed exstatically for an hour.