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Venue:Finnegan's Wake, 9b Victoria Street Edinburgh EH1 2HE
Phone: 0131 225 9348
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: The Back Room
AUG 3-13 at 18:15 (60 min)
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In August 2015 Jordan’s Nanna, Gwendoline Martha Brookes, passed away. She was 95. This show is a genuine attempt to pay tribute to her.

That can’t be the whole thing can it? I thought Jordan Brookes did absurdist stuff? Like, bits that go on for ages and horrible physical stuff, daft faces, etc? Is he just going to talk about his Nan for an hour? Surely not.

Chortle Award Best Newcomer nominee returns with his third solo hour of high-wire stand-up and absurdism.

'Funny and surprising - you’re advised to see Brookes fast before word of mouth fills every seat’ ★★★★ (Scotsman)

‘A breath-taking, hugely original hour’ ★★★★★ (Fest Mag)

‘A tricksy nugget of meta-comedy’ (Guardian)

‘Doesn’t sacrifice laughs for the sake of artistic stretch’ ★★★★ (Chortle)

★★★★★ (Mirror)

Presented by Show And Tell

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News and Reviews for this Show

August 21, 2017  Chortle
If you go and see Jordan Brookes this Fringe, be sure to take lots of rugs… for he’ll keep pulling them out from under you.

There’s surely not a more inventive show at this festival. From an inspired corruption of the ‘Ladies and gentlemen please welcome…’ voiceover to the moment he reluctantly leaves the stage, cracking a few final quips, this is a twisty, turny ride full of playful misdirection.

There’s a flick of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross’s cult classic Mr Show as he begins by doing his vocal warm-ups on stage, then he engineers a brilliant slapdown of an audience member as part of some peculiar banter, and we’re still nowhere near starting.

When he gets to the meat of the hour, it turns out to be a savvy and savage parody of those now-clichéd stand-up shows that wring emotional response from their audiences from the death of a relative. In this case, it’s Brooke’s nan who popped her clogs, and he can't even bring himself to begin to tell it, needing to be placed into his storytelling pose by brute force. And when he finally gets going, he proves that his warning of being ‘easily distracted’ was no idle disclaimer.

A few metaphors sustain the loosest of stories, from the notion of ‘bad thought marbles’ that can make their way from the back of your head to your mouth, and of listening to other parts of your body, not just your head or your heart. Turns out Brookes has an erudite arsehole. And any comic who wants ‘erudite arsehole’ as a show title next year can have it for free.

His fine, peculiar brain doesn’t work like anyone else’s – which leads to bleak and appallingly inappropriate thoughts, some of which, it turns out, have their roots in something diagnosable, as well as wildly funny ones.

And, wow, look at his physically, fearlessly wild when it needs to be – outrageously extravagant mimes of any number of sex acts come to mind (or rather can’t be erased from memory) – or perfectly controlled at others. He has similar control over all aspects of his mesmerising performance: noisy and aggressive one moment, silent and still the next. Brookes has an exceptional command of pace and tone, and keeps that as varied as his writing, ensuring there’s never a dull moment.

His intimate unpredictability carries a level of danger – not a terrifying Red Bastard-style risk, but just enough to heighten the reaction to his comic surprises. Meanwhile, audience interactions show he’s not wedded to a tight script; he’s nimble enough to blend often surreal ad-libs with the main thrust of a show that keeps its audience on their toes, even once it settles into a groove.

Compelling, mercurial, unconventional and smart, Brookes has produced one of the must-see shows of the Fringe. Click Here

August 12, 2017  Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
Jordan Brooke’s Body of Work never really starts, not does it really end, and there’s definitely no middle. Brookes aims to provide a show under the pretence of wanting to tell a story about his gran, but he can’t sit down, let alone stay sat long enough, to tell it. Typical of his style Brookes has a sporadic delivery of his hysterically absurd ideas and physical impressions.

The audience has no choice but to erupt with inappropriate laughter as Brookes’ impressions kickstart. The show then reaches to the extreme, offering the audience a strange combination of satisfaction and slight discomfort as Brookes dares to take things one step too far.

This is a performer that, despite lacking empathy, knows no physical limits. Join him on the exploration of his body, accompanied by the hilarious impersonations of the appendages and orifices you would least choose to listen to. Brookes’s obscure manipulations of his face and body are gross, but impossibly captivating. The grotesque and shockingly inappropriate gestures physically depict his darkest and most unwanted thoughts with hilarious glee.

His Gran will be glad she never lived to see this tribute, but no one else should miss it. Click Here

August 12, 2017  Fest
Jordan Brookes' latest hour signals a minor evolution in Fringe comedy, beyond the sincere dead relative tribute but also the mockery of it. In terms of intent, his stated aim of acknowledging his late grandmother feels heartfelt. But he's also conveying it quasi-physically, with his lungs, arsehole and eyes rolled right back into his head for example, this expressive comic delivering a bizarre panegyric that's as much about exercising control over his body as exorcising the demons within it. Featuring the basest elements of familial, self and animal love, Body of Work is a magnetic display, with Brookes' limber, often grotesque performance too big for his intimate venue.

His proximity to the crowd remains a boon though, as it lets him truly force a connection onto them, even as he's mouthing obscene vocal warm-ups. The suggestion that any one of us could storm the stage reinforces a sense of risk, regrettably confirmed by a smattering of walkouts. Such self-indulgent strangeness won't be for everyone.

For the most part, Brookes is gamely playful, messing about with the conventions of mime, character and confessional comedy, seemingly with no great intent beyond seeing if he can get away with it. But his animated eyes and, indeed, complicit other body parts are windows into his troubled soul. As in previous years, he raises his mental health without browbeating you with it, his cartoonish delivery keeping it light even as he explores what can only be characterised as some extremely dark and truly fucked up shit. Click Here

August 6, 2017  The List
Unsettling and unpredictable fare battles hard against the elements

Jordan Brookes falteringly takes to the stage and efficiently sets the tone: he's a rakish, belligerent performer blessed with an expressive face and macabre disposition.

After a hilariously inappropriate vocal warm-up, he launches into a painfully absurd explanation of the complex relationship he claims to have developed with his now-deceased gran. This allows Brookes to weave a grotesque narrative featuring deeply unsettling thoughts about his closest family members and his beloved dog.

Performing in a tiny side room within an extraordinarily rowdy venue, Brookes is seasoned enough to make significant capital from the noise bleed. He's also very capable of turning audience interaction to his favour while keeping everyone slightly on edge. Brookes is certainly wholly unafraid of drawing out silence for maximum effect, although viewers at the back (while safer from his occasional ire) may miss out on some of his more subtle physical gags.

A truly captivating comedian, Jordan Brookes is wonderfully unpredictable and gloriously menacing, but it's a shame that he doesn't have a stronger ending here. Mind you, it's perhaps in keeping with his chaotic persona that he can't more succinctly bring things to a close. Click Here

June 8, 2017 The Guardian
Edinburgh Festival 2017 Comedy Highlights
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