Jason Cook: Broken

Jason Cook reveals near the beginning of Broken that his journey into stand-up comedy was a stereotypical one. He started telling jokes at school to avoid being bullied, carrying on his love for making people laugh at the shipyard and pub before some mates told him he should give it a whirl professionally. Watching Cook, it's difficult to figure out why it took him so long to grab a mic and get on stage. His stage persona and presence, although he admits he is terrified throughout, is welcoming and laid back despite his frantic performance.

A recurring gag about buying himself a 'real' Lightsaber and the accompanying photo evidence had many agreeing with Cook that it was the single greatest purchase anyone had ever made.

It's easy to see why his pub banter promoted his nearest and dearest to push him into comedy as, even in the packed out Queen Dome, his chat and topics are are akin to a cheerful Sunday afternoon crouched round a corner table at the local boozer. Similarly, Cook is clearly not shy or coy when it comes to mining his own life for material. Whilst, of course, there are certainly anecdotes which I imagine have been exaggerated or, indeed, fabricated, his everyman appeal is difficult to deny. A recurring gag about buying himself a 'real' Lightsaber and the accompanying photo evidence had many agreeing with Cook that it was the single greatest purchase anyone had ever made.

He speaks openly and confidently about a recent nervous breakdown and it is in these sections that the show is most successful. A routine about the five therapists he's had is not only insightful into the way Cook's comedy mind works but also, very, very funny and, ultimately, quite moving.

Cook is by no means a comedy revolution. His material, whilst not feeling stale or unoriginal, doesn't stand out as unique or game changing. But that doesn't stop him from being an intensely likeable performer or his show from being extremely funny.

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Performances

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The Blurb

Award-winning comedian, writer, creator and star of BBC2’s Hebburn and Radio4’s Jason Cook’s School of Hard Knocks returns with a show about, well, being broken. Having gained fans for his work in television and radio, Jason is back on the Fringe doing what he does best, lightning-fast stand-up in front of a live audience. Always welcoming, never bullying, the self-deprecating Geordie idiot has found himself in situations he never dreamed of. Come and see how he’s mucked them all up this time. 'Carves a rich, deep, consistent groove of humour at the Fringe' (Scotsman).

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