My Damage is My Gift!

Family Values

Rating ***

21.45-22.45, Laughing Horse @ Edinburgh City Football Club

Jonathan Prager’s performance is a mixture of spoken anecdotes and original songs with both lyrics and score written by himself and performed with accompaniment from Ben, his very talented pianist. They are both funny and touching in places and the pair perform very confidently together. Being early on in his run there were a few teething problems with song lyrics but these will be easily ironed out as he grows in confidence over the course of the festival.

I felt extremely sorry for Jonathan Prager this evening. There were only eight people in his audience, of which six were Spanish. It’s got to be incredibly hard to be a comedian playing to an audience where 75% of the people have a limited grasp of the language. Still, he stuck in there and with his charming voice and charismatic smile he couldn’t fail to entertain. His stories revolve around his family relationships and interactions with his mother, sister and father. They are entertaining and told with a certain sensitivity and engagement, but unfortunately they sometimes lack the strength of a definitive punch line that is required to complete the anecdote. The strength of his material is quite possibly the greatest weakness of a show which, with such an enigmatic performer, has more potential than it realises.

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