Monday, July 22

Jon Culshaw: Imposter Syndrome – Debating Hall, Teviot Row House

This was – A tour de force by an expert impressionist!

Jon Culshaw twice in one day, I am getting spoiled! Earlier on I had the pleasure of reviewing Lena (****) at Assembly, George Square, in which Jon takes the starring role as Hugh Green. And it goes without saying that he was brilliant.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to accomplish ‘expert’ status in your chosen field. Jon’s 30+ years as one of the UK’s top impressionists certainly puts him in the expert category, and he shows no sign of slowing down. This brand new show was sure evidence that he is still current, still growing and right at the top of his game. Treating a packed house to a show that spotlights his vast impression library and phenomenal memory for tone and intonation and timing. This may have been expected, what was less so is his brilliant singing voice.

We are treated to a gangsta-rapping Gordon Brown, A Les Mis Spider-Man, and a shaggy shopping list. Keeping the kids happy, Jon launches into Arctic Monkeys morphing into George Formby. Joe Biden hilariously sings ‘Birdhouse In Your Soul’ (just think about that for a minute!). In other words, something for everyone.

Jon lets us in on some of the tricks of his trade, showing the rapt audience which part of his voice he is using to make Lancashire accents curl up at the ends like cheese sandwiches whilst Yorkshire curls down, hilariously evidenced with appropriate examples.  

He then moves seamlessly through the four types of Liverpool accents. This is more like a masterclass than stand up gig.

Politicians have always featured heavily in Jon’s catalogue, from his many years working on Spitting Image. He is perhaps at his most entertaining when he inhabits the Donald Trump face and voice which are clearly so familiar to him.

Govie is just Ronnie Corbett with all the loveability removed.

My favourite piece however has to be his Hamlet Soliloquy, a mash up of (amongst others!) Trump, Obama, Gervais and Cox. Just brilliant!

I could go on. The hour just flew by. No filler here. Don’t miss this.

Running time – 1hr

Reviewer: Greg Holstead

Reviewed: 8th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.