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Review: Spencer Jones: Making Friends at the Soho Theatre

Review by Olivia Ruggiero 


When looking at the PR shot for Spencer Jones: Making Friends, one does question what a cockerel has to do with friendship. Is Jones friends with the bird? Is he an animal lover? And more so what does any of that have to do with COVID lockdowns? It certainly is excellent press, because the burning desire to find out what was going on drove me to SoHo Theatre on a Wednesday night to see Jones in action – and the only thing better than the marketing around Jones’ show is Jones himself. 


It's been said before – we don’t need another show about COVID or lockdowns or “the pandemic” – it’s too soon and frankly it’s becoming overdone. However, in this instant that sentiment needs to be retracted immediately because what Jones has done here is innovative, fun, original, absolutely wacky and will make your sides split from laughter. 


From his entrance, where he jokes about a disconnected wire causing fragmentation in his pre-show announcement, right through to the end where the audience finally understand why the microphone stand has been “broken” the entire show; Jones’ style of comedy is unique, relatable and awkwardly charming. There are too many brilliant moments to name or pick a favorite. Is it his disclaimer that the show might not be for some of us but we’re just going to have to sit there for 60 minutes and take it? (Let’s be clear – there’s something for everyone in this hour of fun). Or is it his impersonation of Devon locals – complete with fake teeth, costume shop bushy eyebrows and a catchy original song? Perhaps it’s the development of the relationship with the cockerel in the PR photo? (Which makes a lot more sense AFTER having seen the show!)


Jones’ humour highlights the dysfunctional existence that we all lived in lockdown, and he does it with great poise. What strikes the most is his ability to deliver humour without relying on vulgarity. There are moments where his comedic style could lend itself to that, but he never has to go there. The audience is with him every step of the way, already in fits of laughter from the witty remarks he delivers with humanity.  


Jones’ kooky artwork, puppetry, skills as a musician, and brilliant comedic timing are all on display here. It’s a great show, it’s excellent comedy and I would highly recommend booking a ticket the next time Jones is in a town near you! 


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