In a stressful post May 7th rage, Jonny accidentally tells his four year old niece that the world is going to end because of climate change. She gets so upset that Jonny rashly promises he’ll sort it out climate change himself. Making climate change funny is a tough ask, and musical comedians don’t make for your stereotypical eco-warriors. However, Jonny and Paddy (the Baptists) set off on a mission to save the world, singing their way to affirmative action.
And so follows an hour of stories and songs ranging from the serious to the ridiculous: protesting Library closure, Michael Hancock MP, the innocent, youthful glee of drawing willies on things, and more. Mainly ridiculous, if I’m honest, because what Jonny and Paddy do so well is give the issues they talk or sing about a silly twist. This is not to be confused, however, with trivialising or simplifying them.
Jonny Donahoe and Paddy Gervase play great tunes and have cracking voices. They take the approach that the best way to get a message across is to make sure it’s packed with humour. Crude or ridiculous, this message is ever clear – “What do we want? No more climate change! How do we get it? Stop being dicks!”.
Are they changing the world? Maybe not, but having previously toured the country with a show attempting to stop folks voting UKIP, Jonny and Paddy have strong ambition, and there’s something wonderful about that. Though it may not be the most sophisticated satire of right-wing UK politics in history, Jonny and The Baptists: The End is Nigh is a charming and very, very funny account of their attempt to take action. Sometimes you do need a bit of optimism that anybody, even a couple of guitar-playing comedians, can change the world for the better in small ways.
Jonny and The Baptists: The End is Nigh is playing at Roundabout @ Summerhall (Venue 26a) as part of the Edinburgh Fringe from 14-17, 19-24, 26-30 August. For more information and tickets, see the festival website.