You cannot help but like Jack Barry as he takes to the stage in his bold suit, briefcase in hand and ready to get down to some serious business. Well almost serious – his suit is covered in a luminous green ganja print and his face beams excitedly out at his audience. High Treason is a hilarious show packed full of factual fun for all the family (or specifically, those 16+ according to suitability guidelines). No matter your stance on drug consumption – whether you agree with Barry that all drugs should be legalised or if you think drugs are just for thugs – you will be able to laugh out loud at this show.
High Treason addresses the affectual paradigms of substance legality, from alcohol to LSD to Calpol, but do not assume High Treason is just a half-baked stand-up show, cooked up by a drug enthusiastic. On the contrary, Barry is a convert to the cause of ending The War on Drugs after witnessing first hand conflicting social and legal aspects of the fight. High Treason draws parallels between legal and illegal substance use and calls out the hypocrisy of an archaic and racist system. Barry pulls on the political, economic and the scientific to back up his case that all drugs should be legalised, and he does it all whilst keeping his audience rolling with laughter.
This is an understated and hidden treat at the Fridge which is absolutely worth your time and a sliver of your hard earned cash. Barry’s performance is smoothly executed and the content of his show is well linked. His command over his performance space and his audience is relaxed and charming as he goes from strength to strength, cracking jokes that will make you snort with laughter whilst delivering paranoid but accurate facts with brilliant little anecdotes to top it all off.
Words: Ryan Johnson
Jack Barry: High Treason, Just the Tonic at Mash House, Aug 3-27, 7.40pm