Review: Yours Sincerely – Sarah MacDonald

Show: Yours Sincerely
Venue: Front Room @ the Assembly Rooms
Stars: *****
Reviewer: Sarah MacDonald

“Yours Sincerely” by the Quick Duck Theatre group is one of the most palpably funny and heart-wrenching one-man performances in this year’s Fringe. Will Jackson, by happy accident, steals 300 stamps from the post office – unsure of how to proceed upon realising his mistake – Will begins a “little project”. The audience joins him on his various escapades to reconnect with past loves, to embody some rather eccentric pen names, and to stay in touch with his best friend. His project takes various twists and turns and is accompanied by a playlist of delightfully nostalgic music.

The power of the pen falls more swiftly and with far more punch than the sword in creating this heart-warming, laugh-out-loud comedy. The staging which consists of a table, a filing cabinet and a stage littered with boxes overflowing with paper becomes a dynamic platform for Jackson to weave comedy gold across his performance. His personal story is a told with a mostly positive focus but it also allows him to share an account of a terrifying mugging, to reach out to elderly relatives who are losing their other human connections, and to address some of the trials of growing up gay in a society that still mixes us queer kids up with a touch of internalised homophobia. Their accounts are relatable and amusing. I have never seen Robinson’s fruit squash be so effectively utilised as a prop in all my time reviewing.

Jackson also embodies some flamboyant personas for letters written to big companies. He uses his persuasive brand of comedy to draw the audience in to some brilliant moments of hilarity. From getting himself fired from a shoe shop for impersonating customer feedback to pitching a John Lewis’ Christmas advert that is brought into sharp focus with its setting in an optometrist, Jackson creates laugh after laugh. His understanding of comedy’s close link with tension allows him to play the audience for every laugh he brings with him and creates a unique connection to the more serious messages in the play. Truly, this performance used every element of staging, lighting, music, sound design and physical theatre to great effective.

At the close of his show Jackson invites the audience to donate to the charity he has paired with and encourages them to pick up some “swag” on the way out – stamps, badges and even postcards are available. His portrayal of the poignancy that letter writing can have in expanding human connection carries us out of his show as we are invited to do the same.

This performance is one of the funniest, most energetic, uniquely enriching experiences of the Fringe. It certainly has laughs for all but seemed to take a few elderly gentlemen in the front row by surprise due to the passionate level of Robinson-drenched hair flicking that was involved mid-show. I really can’t recommend this highly enough on a personal level and from the point of view as a reviewer. This is a thoroughly well constructed piece that is crammed from start to finish with belly laughs and brilliance.

Yours Sincerely: tickets available here
Front Room @ the Assembly Rooms
Aug 7-24 (not 13)
8pm (1 hour)

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