Richard Tyrone Jones's Big Heart

Review by Sarah Stewart | 15 Aug 2012
  • Richard Tyrone Jones

Richard Tyrone Jones – gym-goer, man about town, sperm donor, performance poet got heart failure for his 30th birthday. This hour-long show charts his decline, hospitalisation and eventual recovery through stand-up, poetry, and a bit of ironic singing and dancing. What could so easily tip over into self-indulgence remains light and compelling, and his request to change the music as he lay in the operating theatre before heart surgery (“If I’m going to die, I’m not going to die to fucking Phil Collins”) gives a sense of the tone – honest, self-deprecating and funny. One warning if you're squeamish about details of medical procedures (or allergic to terrible puns) you might have to plug your ears occasionally.

Re-set your expectations before this gig, as Tyrone Jones did after his diagnosis – this is not comedy in the traditional sense, but something more anecdotal and wry. Big Heart feels like great storytelling rather than stand-up – spoken word poetry mixed with painfully true confessions. Well worth an hour of your time, this is a curiously life-affirming show from a charismatic and likeable performer.


Richard Tyrone Jones's Big Heart, Banshee Labyrinth Cinema, until 25 August (not 19), 18:00, free