‘Jon Courtenay: Against The Odds’ (Bedfringe, 29 July 2022)

“He’s got to carry on like nothing is going on and he isn’t undergoing treatment.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Outstanding)

Jon Courtenay is a British singer, comedian, and entertainer who also has the gift of being a pianist. He’s was the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2020. In fact, did you know that Jon is the first ever golden buzzer winner to win BGT. [For those of you who still call ITV ‘The Other Side’, The Golden Buzzer is where the judges or Ant and Dec can push the Buzzer to put the contestant through to the live finals.]

Jon’s appearance at The Bedford Fringe was with his Edinburgh Fringe preview show AGAINST THE ODDS. The scene is set where it all starts, with his auditioning for BGT. During the next few months Jon keeps a big secret away from BGT, and the media, which is going to make a impact on his life.

The story is really POWERFUL and it’s one that really deserves to be heard. It’s all about a mole that appears on the side of his head which was eventually diagnosed as being cancer. Yet Jon can’t stop now that he’s reached the top. He’s got to carry on like nothing is going on and he isn’t undergoing treatment.

Jon’s show flows throughout and his gifted ability to perform is one that can’t be missed. You can really see how much Jon loves live audiences and the BUZZ he gets from entertaining. The way in which he turns the story in to comedy and music is very clever. The show’s opening song is his auditioning song called ‘The Third Person’ and each number that follows tells the story of what was going on behind the scenes.

This personal story told by Jon REALLY did make an impact on me. It was thought-provoking to me as to the importance of being checked out early with any health concerns. LIFE is valuable, LIFE is Important and LIFE is also to ENJOY which is what I’m doing.

That was an outstanding show, please go and see it at The Edinburgh Fringe you’re in for a great time.

This review was authored by Graeme Scott.

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‘Simon Munnery: Trials and Tribulations’ (Bedfringe, 23 July 2022)

“Simon has a definite comical genius way of telling his stories.”

Editorial Rating: 3 Stars (Nae Bad)

Simon’s show at The Bedford Fringe was based on the turmoil of his life. For reasons that soon become clear, one of these stories, from his youth, was never going to be told until now, some twenty years later.

It all started on the last night of the Edinburgh Fringe. Simon had been tasked by his friend and fellow comic, Arthur Smith, to heckle him under the guise of being a German Tourist. Unfortunately, Simon got caught up a the situation which led to his arrest for assaulting a Police officer – although at the following court case he was found not guilty. Simon has a definite comical genius way of telling his stories. They were each cleverly portrayed to the audience giving us much laughter.

Another story followed on how a parking ticket machine in Leeds didn’t accept his money resulting in no payment being made and returning to his car to find a ticket had been issued. The years of refusing to pay the rising fine resulted in another court case. SPOILER ALERT: Another case he won. Simon also got mugged some three times up and these were further stories told in Simon’s own proficient way.

Simon certainly has a way with portraying his own true life stories and they was good to hear. The attention to detail made each an interesting listen. As an audience, you do laugh along the way. What this show lacks though is continuity. The flow between stories didn’t seem to work .There was parts of the show to which the audience didn’t seem to react. The format needs tiding up, but that’s why it’s a work in progress. We all have off days, and this seemed to be one for Simon.

I would give this show a rating of 3 out of 5 as seen. It was definitely Nae Bad. Being a Bedfringe event the ticket price was acceptable. It would be good to revisit this show once it’s been polished off.


This review was authored by Graeme Scott.

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