Set in the late 90s, Jigsy is the story of an old, tired comic on his last legs, jobbing the working men’s club circuit in Liverpool. Think of it as a portal to a time when comedy was sexist by nature, and the ‘old ones’ weren’t so old.
Set in between two performances, while the bingo is on, Jigsy drifts between reminiscence and stories of comedians he has worked with, reeling off their best material and gradually becoming more and more drunk. Les Dennis plays it just right, perfectly characterising the bitterness and loathing of a man past his prime who never quite hit it big.
It is an enjoyable and interesting play in that it captures the mood of a past era, setting comedy’s roots against a modern backdrop. But it is definitely one for the older crowd – much of the humour lies in Dennis’ skill at impressions and the nostalgia factor, which leaves a bit of a gap for those born too late to remember.
A good script and set, and an excellent turn from Dennis, but the reminiscent nature of the play makes it somewhat less enjoyable for a large swathe of the potential audience. A nice glimpse at the past, all the same.