Old comics never die, and that certainly is the case for this production of Jigsy, a one- man show staring Les Dennis, currently running at the recently re-furbished Royal Court Liverpool. This production serves as a reminder of all the bad and good comedians that you may have seen over the years, encapsulated in a rib tickling and at times very moving story.
Jigsy has been on the comedy circuit for 30 years, and he's worked with them all. Now, older and probably not much wiser but with loads of stories to tell, he works the Liverpool comedy circuit, taking in the odd working men's club. He's the entertainment before and after the bingo, facing the audience with a pint in hand.
Writer Tony Staveacre wrote this piece in 1997, and has based his character loosely on comedian Jackie Hamilton. His material is still fresh and is well received by the audience, with plenty of local references all the way through and moments of history in the press that most could still remember (the death of Princess Diana) there is plenty to grab onto.
Dennis's aptitude for mimicry really shines at certain points and his comic timing is spot on. There is a good balance of laughter and reflection in Staveacre's script. As quickly as Jigsy is laughing with us, he instantly swings it around so that the audience are really reaching out for him and his poignant stories.
Les's performance is sterling and a real treat to watch as he glides effortlessly through the 90 minutes he is on stage. A true professional, funny and talented performer, Dennis is one comic that will never die in peoples hearts.
- Jane Phillips