TRH Brighton Fringe 2016: Game Ain’t Based On Sympathy

TRH Brighton Fringe 2016: Game Ain’t Based On Sympathy

Originally published on The Reviews Hub

Awarded 2 1/2 stars – Retrospect

Young person politics are the topic of choice at a comedy showcase this afternoon. In a dingy back room above a, more than likely student frequented, pub, Jake Farrell and Jacob Hawley take to the stage to deliver their 20-minute stand-up sets that revolve around youth, upbringing and a smattering of political injustice. While one seemingly personifies the 20-something post-hangover slob, the other takes a more retrospective tack – “I’m a paradigm breaker”. Both have their moments to shine, both have their moments to fall flat.

The less experienced performer takes to stage first, with agenda topics such as St George’s Day, UKIP family friends and Lady & The Tramp. Jacob Hawley has a natural cadence to his comedy act that is easy on the ear, but ultimately feels uncomfortable in his material. He is at his best when ad-libbing in between gags, with small under-the-breath comments (“shit pun”) hitting home more successfully that the arduous story-telling. While at home with silence, there are simply one too many for him to capitalise on.

Jake Farrell follows with more developed material and a much more distinct style. From the start of his act, a well-judged montage set to Fields of Gold, he creates a more relaxed atmosphere. With similarly styled stories focussing on the Stevenage roots that got him into comedy, Farrell gives a more self-confident performance. His use of projections and props is well conceived – excerpts from his childhood ‘literary genius’ are read out with acerbic aplomb and more recent correspondence with the local councillor are laced with overly obvious sub-text.

As part-time performers, both have a way to go in developing their style, but for a free Brighton fringe performance, Game Ain’t Based on Sympathy is not an unpleasant 45-minute filler in Brighton Fringe’s competitive comedy offering. The reason for the title may forever remain elusive…

Writer: Jacob Hawley & Jake Farrell

Reviewer: Daniel Perks

Runs until 5 June 2016