We join John Pendal in the Gilded Balloon as he traces his family tree all the way back to the 1600s. The focus on family is not limited to just his own however; there is a little audience participation where we are asked to write down on a post-it one thing that annoys us most about our family- not a hard task for me.
To begin, I was a little underwhelmed as the humour is quite amateur and numerous jokes fell flat. This is not my chosen comedy style but that is down to personal taste.
John uses multiple props throughout, from photographs of his family, to a diary of his great-great aunty and even an impressively hand-drawn family tree. John is likeable and endearing, making the audience feel immediately comfortable. He makes astute and witty observations about family life that are relatable to everyone: he had the whole audience nodding in agreement at various pet peeves we all suffer from.
The hour was well structured and full of stories and anecdotes that would lead back to his main point. As well as tracing the history of his extended family, John takes us with him as he navigates the complexities and difficulties of his own family. I was pleasantly surprised and very touched by John’s openness in sharing personal memories of his relationship with his father. As well as a feel-good comedy this show is a story of acceptance and the ways a family can come to terms with each other.
John ends by saying that a family is what you make it, it doesn't have to be your immediate family, we can choose who we let into our lives. Most of all, to find understanding and patience with each other in this world we must act as one big extended family.
This is for anyone who finds their loved ones just that little bit challenging, John helps us laugh at ourselves and find common ground. Definitely one for the family!
The Gilded Balloon Sportsman @ 17:30
For tickets and details visit: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/john-pendal-we-are-family