Theatre review: Jailmates

Jailmates follows a penpal relationship between a convict and a single mum

Jailmates follows a penpal relationship between a convict and a single mum

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Written and performed by two regulars on the Glaswegian stand-up comedy scene, Jailmates follows the blossoming pen pal relationship between divorced mum Jenny (Julia Sutherland) and jailbird Jerry (Gary Little).

Jailmates

New Town Theatre (Venue 7)

JJJ

Written and performed by two regulars on the Glaswegian stand-up comedy scene, Jailmates follows the blossoming pen pal relationship between divorced mum Jenny (Julia Sutherland) and jailbird Jerry (Gary Little). It’s a warm, likeable story that’s all about contrasts, particularly the difference between what we tell other people about ourselves and what we know to be the truth. Both Jenny and Jerry are trapped and riddled with secrets – it’s the teasing out of these secrets, and the way each character bends the truth to present the best version of themselves, that give the story its warmth and relatability.

As veterans of the stand-up circuit, both Little and Sutherland are skilled at getting their audience on board and creating a friendly atmosphere. That said, they do occasionally cross the boundary between theatre and stand-up – one exchange, where each character relates the tale of a disastrous stag/hen party, is plenty funny, but feels heavily recycled from pre-existing routines. Having been won over by the characters, it’s also disappointing that we only get to see the start of Jenny and Jerry’s story – this Fringe run is something of a warm-up for a BBC Scotland radio series, due to be aired later this year.

Niki Boyle

Until 15 August. Today 5pm

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