Sending up posh people isn’t the most original idea, but Jasper Cromwell Jones is a jolly good comic character who channels the spirit of Bertie Wooster
Joe Bor stares out from underneath the huge furry hood of a mountain-climber’s heavy duty jacket. You would be forgiven for thinking this is the gently comic story of an adventure weekend gone wrong. In fact, it is a warm and funny send-up of the pampered life of an old Etonian, which just happens to feature mountaineering as its theme.
Jasper Cromwell Jones is a posh twit who, in the absence of much else to do, becomes an extreme climber. Bor’s feats could be inspired by Ben Fogle and he channels the spirit of Bertie Wooster to create a hapless comic character. Jasper embarks on an ill-fated mission with his chum Barney de Mowbray, better known as Fishfingers.
It soon turns out that Fishfingers’ fingers have been in the wrong place – secretly clutching at Jasper’s girlfriend – and the image that emerges of the cuckolded Jasper is of an ingénue whose wealth has blinded him to the practical and emotional complexities of adult life.
So we switch from Jasper and Fishfingers’ mountain ascent – accompanied by a Peruvian Sherpa known only as “mate” because the climbers repeatedly forget his name – to recollections of their privileged life at home. “I was born in… money”, waxes Jasper, who lives in Berkshire and St Tropez and whose embarrassed attitude to the intimate moments of an all-male boarding school is summed up by the anguished explanation of “it’s not gay if it’s a dare”.
If some of this sounds clichéd, then it is. But it is also an enjoyable and fresh spin on life as seen through the eyes of an old-fashioned English buffoon.
Bor also excels when he picks out members of the audience. He was, however, handed something of an open goal when four men on a stag night, each dressed as a chicken, took their seats in the front row. These are Jasper’s people.
After an hour in his company you feel Jasper Cromwell Jones is not a man with whom you would want to climb the snowy slopes of a treacherous mountain, but he is a funny and charming character. He is, as his friends might put it, a bloody good chap.
Review written by Peter Edwards
• Joe Bor is Jasper Cromwell Jones, is at 7pm at Underbelly Bristo Square