Jason Cook: Comedy Festival Review
Jason Cook - Joy
"Life is about moments."
That much is made clear by the Geordie comedian Jason Cook when he made his way to a packed Classic audience.
And "Everything in this show is true."
Those are ominous words when you hear them in any stand up show - chances are you expect the act to embellish, to liven up the material to exploit the audience as much as is possible.
Not Jason Cook with his new show Joy.
It's difficult to talk too much about this show without spoiling it - so, what I can tell you is that it's autobiographical and put loosely it tackles the things in life which make you happy - it celebrates humanity.
Jason's mission is to "spread joy" - however, before you dismiss him as having joined the happy clappy brigade, you need to understand why he's doing this.
These days with a recession and doom and gloom surrounding us at every turn, it's quite obvious why a show celebrating the little things in life - such as your mates and your family - may seem to some like a bit of a no brainer. Jason loves his job as a comic and that much is blatantly clear with the exuberance he showed on stage.
Yet, thanks to some clever material (exploited on a multimedia slide) and some excellent audience banter, Joy is a real high in story telling.
Cook manages to elicit responses from the typically reticent Kiwi audience and engages them at every level - and a lot of the time (aside from dealing out the pretty smart one liners) he does it purely because he's interested in people. He never interjects in a rude way - it's always a kind of matey questioning which is nautral and puts the audience at their ease.
Granted there are some punchlines at the expense of one part of Britain - and he'll never much be welcomed in Liverpool.
There's a real emotional sucker punch to this show (which to be fair, we're warned about early on) but only the most cynical won't be swept up in the moment Jason's prepared us for.
This is quite simply the show which will move you more than you could expect and leave you with a tear in your eye - but grinning like a lunatic at the end.
Jason Cook's masterful at manipulating the emotions (even if he's not responsible for the entire material in the hour he spends with you) but never to the degree that you feel cheated.
I guarantee you will leave Joy on a high - which on reflection is a pretty impressive feat given some of what he talks about.
Plus if you're on your own, I can bet you'll make a call to a loved one minutes after it's finished.
You have to see this show - because without it, your life will be bereft.
Jason Cook - Joy is at the Classic in Auckland from Mon 11 - Sat 23 May, 8.30pm (no show Sunday)