Review: John Kearns, Soho Theatre, W1

John Kearns

If you have never been to a comedy gig before John Kearns is not the best place to start. His new set, Shtick, may have won the Foster’s Award for Best Show in Edinburgh in August but this work is very much for people who see a lot of comedy and crave something with a stronger flavour.

Kearns sports traditional comic trappings, fake teeth, silly wig but that is where the conventional clowning largely ends. This is a contemplative piece about modern life’s travails and how he is dealing with his sudden success. “You are watching a man make himself a living,” he says with a hint of disbelief.

There are a few real gags. One of the advantages of prison, notes Kearns, is “you never lose your keys”. Usually, however, his carefully crafted pronouncements are observational curveballs.

He expresses a surprising fondness for frog-shaped soap holders and politics programme This Week.

If you prefer your quips without a mix of melancholy and absurdism this impeccably performed set may not be for you. But if you are searching for something quirkier than the average TV joker, Kearns could be your new king of comedy.

This review first appeared in the Evening Standard here. Follow John Kearns on Twitter @johnsfurcoat


Hello! Thanks for reading all the way down. I wish I could give you a prize. But BTJ needs your support to continue - if you would like to help to keep the site going, please consider donating.

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.