‘Fake News (Corona Remix)’ Jonathan Pie Live Review.
At the end of her set, warm-up act JoJo Sutherland does a bit of housekeeping which includes switching off mobile phones and not heckling… but more about that later.
A familiar face to Jonathan Pie fans, the Scottish comic’s set is a raucous, dirty thirty minutes. At the opposite end of the comedy spectrum to the headliners social and political opinions, Sutherland chats about going slightly mad during lockdown, a period of time that saw her taking up a job as a delivery driver, separating from her husband and the challenges of having children who are labelled as “reluctant learners”. Early on in her set, the Scottish comic explained how she’d recently recovered from COVID but, by her own admission, her love of booze and fags puts cancer and heart disease before it in the queue of diseases that will eventually finish her off. Typically Scottish in her honesty, you get the feeling that when she does go, she’ll be going down kicking, punching and swearing with a can of lager in one hand and a packet of B&H in the other.
One thing you can’t accuse Jonathan Pie of and that’s shying away from expressing his opinion especially when it comes to political matters. However, despite multiple attempts from Pie to stop people calling out, things reach boiling point when one heckler takes particular offence at a routine about Pie’s own son. An awkward few moments follow between the comic and his heckler ending with this particular punter departing the venue after barely fifteen minutes.
That little hiccup aside, this was Jonathan Pie at his best. Remixing the “Fake News” show from pre-COVID, a lot has happened since then giving the opinionated news reader plenty to rant about. For example, we’re only two minutes into the show when Matt Hancock bears the full brunt of Pie’s wrath and that’s just for starters as his divorce, the NHS, his much-publicised fall from grace, corporations and social media all land in his line of fire each one taking both barrels from Pie.
And here is where the issue is with Pie’s routine. Yes, it’s funny, very funny but, every so often, there is a routine or an opinion that splits the crowd, as is evident on a few occasions tonight when the sound of laughter and applauding is replaced by pockets of awkward laughter. That being said, you know routines about Boris Johnson and Brexit are going to always have the room ringing with agreement and tonight was no exception even if the latter subject barely warranted any of Pie’s time.
As we found out last night, Pie still has the ability to hit a nerve with some people even if it is for the most unexpected of reasons. That being said, for the rest of us, we enjoyed a fine evening in the company of one of comedy’s most outspoken characters.
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