Travis Jay review – a loose, likable set about fathers and sons

Culture

Focus / Culture 24 Views comments

Soho theatre, London
The comedian’s troubled relationship with his ‘alpha dad’ is under scrutiny in this enjoyable show of (mostly) new material

There’s a choice joke, midway through Travis Jay’s show, about therapists – whom Jay approaches, he tells us, with the same heavy scepticism he reserves for magicians. And yet what’s best about his show, Son of David, is all underpinned by the therapeutic mindset, as Jay recounts growing up and out of the shadow of his tough-guy dad. Jay père’s presence in the audience tonight gives that material added frisson – and certainly, his son performs out of his skin, pumping energy and bonhomie into the room as he delivers a likable if loose set on fatherhood, the filial bond and making his emotions’ acquaintance.

Some key routines may be familiar to those who saw Jay’s 2019 show Funny, Petty, Cool, in which he addressed – as he does here – his difficulty in crying when his beloved grandad died. But the routine is worth revisiting, as the bereft grandson, floodgates finally opened, releases sob after intemperate sob while transfixed by his reflection in the mirror. Jay fans will also recognise, in this “brand new show”, his routine about inadvertently leading a Black Lives Matter march, a version of which he has performed since at least 2018.

At Soho theatre, London, until 25 June

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