Reviews - Fringe 2019

Jimmy Hogg: Like a Virgin

By Alison Nicholson
Published July 24, 2019


English comedian Jimmy Hogg opened in the Bright Room at the Staircase to a full house anxiously waiting to be entertained, and they got their money's worth. The scene is set, the disco lights and music are cued up to transport us back to a young Jimmy, clad in Adidas track suit and orange trainers. The outfit reminded me of rapper Flava Flav, sans clock. We meet a young Jimmy, dancing his heart out. Literally!

His opening gag is funny, but I won't give it away here. Like a Virgin is a coming of age tale told with great agility, and Hogg has plenty of stamina. This audience was on a ride from the heights to the depths with a young man who felt underdeveloped 'there,' especially in the locker room at school.

The intimate Bright Room stage gets a workout as Hogg utilizes every square inch of it. Never missing an opportunity for a comic turn, the drainpipes became a sound effect after a sudden downpour. After he apologized for a brief diversion in the script, this audience cheered. It was just Luis clapping but the football knowledge and length of the rant was very impressive.

Hogg is a seasoned Fringe performer who warmly reaches into the audience, gaining trust and affection, and the reward is an abundance of laughter. As a Brit, references like Fairy washing up liquid are not well known, it's dish soap. Colloquial terms aside, the language of comedy is universal and Jimmy Hogg delivers.

Alison recently wrote and performed, "Love, Loss and the shit in between" for Mind Play at the Staircase, Main Stage and has performed stand-up sketches for the Hammer First Timers at 'Zylas'. Acting credits include; "The Importance of Being Ernest," "Cakewalk," "Top Girls," "She Stoops to Conquer," "The Maids," and directed; "The Rivals," and "The House of Bernarda Alba." Alison directed "Der Zug" for the Hamilton Fringe written by Valerie Kay. The Pearl produced Alison's first original play "A Certain Slant of Light," directed by Annalee Flint. Alison reviewed the Fringe Gallery performances for the Hub in 2018. Alison's first Fringe experience was in Edinburgh, as lighting tech for the San Quentin Drama Workshop from the US. A graduate of McMaster University, Drama, Emmanuel College, U of T, and Niagara College school of technical theatre.

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