Jason Cook: Joy

jason cookJason Cook’s show Joy sounded a bit like a self-help seminar, with the idea that that laughter is the best medicine.

At the start, he told the audience to fuck off if they tended towards cynicism. Although I do, I didn’t let on and went in with an open mind.

From the outset he spoke at breakneck speed, and although his material wasn’t side-splittingly funny, his enthusiasm was infectious and most people left the show in good spirits.

The theme of Joy is finding the positive things in life, even when it seems nothing is going right. He took the audience from the general (ugly newborn babies) to the specific (the death of his father) and stuck to his brief – seeing the lighter side of tragic events.

The high-speed show also worked a treat because it left us very little time for reflection. Inevitably, a few jokes flopped, but he swiftly glided on to the next one before most of the audience noticed. And if we did notice, it was only because he pointed it out, an example of his reflective qualities.

With a MacBook and projector at his side, Cook took on the academic’s role. He embraced modern technology and led his seminar group into chuckles.

Jason Cook performed Joy at the Soho Theatre, Dean Street, London on 17-18 July 2009.

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