Tonight I was at my final show of the Nottingham Comedy Festival – Mr Jon Pearson. I’ve seen 12 shows during the week, had thoroughly good week and felt this a real highpoint to end on. I wouldn’t object to the festival being moved to June, though, as it would have been nice to go out into sunshine, instead of dark stormy nights. I’ve seen Pearson a lot of times and he is one of my favourite comedians, hence I had little trouble persuading my mum, dad and sister to come to the show. The venue was the Nedd Ludd, where 24 hours ago I had been present for Dan Nightingale. In another coincidence, Jon’s fiancé was present, just as Nightingale’s was for his gig. The room was almost full tonight, which given that it isn’t a huge room, gave it a good vibe. This was Pearson’s new show – Tall Order.
I feel like I’ve seen this show from inception to finished article, as I can recall seeing lots of it being given run outs at various new material nights throughout the Summer. It’s very interesting watching this process, as one sees the original concept in, say, The Roadhouse, then a reworked version in the Canal House and then another model with the killer twist in the Nedd Ludd. As it stood, we were all sat on the front row looking forwards to tonight.
Pearson began well and got cheers and boos for his references to Mansfield, depending on how people felt about this lovely little town, and then did very well to extricate himself from some banter that his audience member wanted to shut down. He did this in a way that gained laughs, which kept the momentum going. However, this wasn’t the end for Alex, the audience member. About 20 minutes later, he gave Jon a heckle from the blue. I detest hecklers and have yet to see one really add value to the night. I also hate it when they tell an act they aren’t funny. 29 people had been laughing consistently, but not Alex, so it’s not only rude, but also highly inaccurate. Luckily he then left, leaving us fewer in number, but all happy to see him go. Considering the mood of the room, it was probably better for him to leave. Jon didn’t get aggressive with him, but my feeling was that the audience would have quite happily bounced Alex on his behalf.
These moments of unpleasantness can really mess up a night, robbing the comic of momentum, but Jon is all but unflappable and continued from where he left off once he’d remembered his place. The cannibalism story is now working extremely well, whereas when I first heard it, it had required some attention. The personal trainer routine is now my favourite piece of Jon’s material. It is a real stand out section and is lovely to hear. The history of sexual positions is good, but does need a big climax to come at the end to feel complete. I find call backs really enjoyable and this show was full of them, which I liked.
This was a strong show and demonstrates Jon’s skill nicely. The verdict from my family was highly favourable, with my sister preferring him to Peter Brush, which is high praise indeed.