Jonathan Pie at the Brighton Dome - Review

Jonathan Pie
Jonathan Pie

The Boris-baiting, sneering satirical creation Jonathan Pie would seem like the perfect rabble-rouser for the People’s Republic of Brighton, but the latest live show was far more nuanced than a lazy left-leaning sermon against the current dominance of the right wing politics.

Unsurprisingly, a sold-out audience at the Dome was berated/treated to coruscating attacks on Boris Johnson (‘a confused Womble’) and Donald Trump (‘loathsome’), but also some less obvious targets, including Woke comedy (‘sometimes you just want to have a laugh without being lectured’), fat -shaming (‘even though they are fat’), and private education (‘that’s not a chip on my shoulder, it’s a portion of sausage in batter and chips of resentment’).

His intelligent material, was delivered in a hail of disgust and plenty of Anglo-Saxon invective.

British actor and comic Tom Walker’s character, who has gone down a storm online in the recent maelstrom of British politics, is a candid but hugely cynical fictional TV news reporter, who cut a bumptious, hectoring but likeable figure throughout a frenetic performance which is part of his Fake News tour.

In the first half of the show he poked, slashed at and dissected the Brexit behemoth, taking on a demented democracy, massively unjust austerity policies and populists along the way, before describing himself as a ‘Remoaner and a bad loser’.

One of the conceits of the show was that Pie was reeling from a sacking after a supremely offensive (but obviously funny) on-air slip.

This gave him a good run-up to tear into the tyranny of social media and society’s peevish and regrettable new penchant for flaming-torch carrying witch-hunts. He described it as an ‘Age of instant outrage’ and appealed for a little bit of redemption.

The evening rattled along almost as quickly as the current news agenda, and a couple of well-placed comedy callbacks helped to knit together his set.

It may all sound rather heavy fare but the gags were punchy, the vitriol was never excessive and the points made were cogent, convincing and sharp.

By Steve Holloway