Jay Johnson Two and only.
The ARTS Theatre - London (June 26 through September 29, 2008)
Last Friday I took a trip up to London, to watch American ventriloqual legend, Jay Jonsons one man show, The two and only.
And what a great evening it was. I cant praise this show highly enough.
With the aid of around 10 gloriously funny characters, he told the history of the ventriloquists art, interwoven with anecdotes from his own life story.
The journey starts in ancient times, where the belly prophets plied their spiritualistic trade in talking to the dearly departed, and comes full circle with an emotionally charged tale of Jays mentor, and kindred spirit, Art Seiving.
For me, this final part of the show had the greatest impact; here we were introduced to Squeaky, Jays partner for a great number of years.
The artistry of Jays story telling, and the utter brilliance that shined from Seivings hand carved masterpiece, caused more than a few in the audience, to produce a few tears. I for one had to reach for my hanky. This was a moment of pure theatre at its best.
Another highlight, was Bob.. The character created for Jay, for the hugely popular situation comedy series, Soap.
With Bob, Jay demonstrated exactly how ventriloquists get around the tricky problem... B words.
I also really like Darwin the monkey. His monkey joke routine is a scream, finishing up with Sondheims send in the clowns, sung in monkey language.
Other characters include Ball, a simple yet effective character made from a split tennis ball. Netternore the vulture, Amigo the snake, Long John, the freshly severed head, and Drew a character bought to life via one of Steve Axtells great drawing boards.
This show is a must see for magicians, puppeteers, ventriloquists, and every one else.
A true joy, educational, and great theatre.
This show, will be continuing its tour in North America after its london run.
Do yourself a favour..
Jay Johnsons web site