22 August 2011

Bennett Arron: Jewelsh



This Jewish comedian is from Wales and performed at the Canon's Gate pub in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival. I went to hear him on his first night, the 18th. He'll continue until the 29th.

Part of his shtick is that he's both Jewish and Welsh. And he talked about the underlying effects of being each. I laughed out loud at times. The 10 year old blended Benromach helped me get in the mood. Fact: It's 10 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (43% ABV)

Back to Bennett. Early on in his monologue he mentioned "Jews for Jesus." Yup, out of nowhere he said something like, "One thing we know about Jews is...we don't believe in Jesus." That in light of his saying that we aren't exactly sure what we do believe as Jews. OK, same old, same old, and no offense taken by me.

He mentioned that Jews for Jesus tries to make converts to their point of view and that this is something Jews don't do. Again, a minor mistake historically as there are times in Jewish history when some have taken the phrase of being a "Light to the nations" so seriously that proselytism is the natural result. But again, not the main point of this blog.

He went on to other subjects and kept me laughing along with the other 35 or so in the pub's cellar.

A few minutes later, Bennett mentioned that he personally believed in God and wondered if there were any other religious people in the crowd. (Hard to call 35 people a crowd, but hey, it's tough competition at the Festival. Hundreds of gigs and performers. All of his gigs are listed here


So Bennett asks if anyone is religious. A lady near me half-raises her hand, and I lift mine with relative ease. He sees the motion in my arm and calls on me. I'm in the 3rd row.

"What religion are you?" he queries.

I pause the pregnant comic pause. I replied, "You won't believe this." I increase the volume of my reply. And bounce it off the already-low cellar ceiling.

"I am the director of Jews for Jesus in Sydney Australia."

The crowd must have thought Jewelsh was now a two-man show. What else could explain this sudden segue? But of more consequence (with apologies to the crowd) was the non-response of Bennett. He was seriously taken aback.

"You're serious?"
"Yup."
"That's awkward," he continued.

He came back to it another one or two times, but the impact was made.

After he finished his set, about 40 minutes later, with more continued funny bits and stories, he took his orange pail for donations and stood at the back of the room. Everyone was asked to put in some coins or better, a 5-pound note.

I happily took out a fiver and my business card and after turning in my emptied Benromach glass, approached the comic.

He put out his hand from under the pail and we had a real moment of mutual appreciation. It was great. After the last of the others left, we chatted for another 5 minutes, as I had to get to another show, about 8 minutes away. We traded business cards officially, as you do. We asked the bar maid to shoot us in this photo.

I tweated that people should go see Jewelsh. I am now blogging that people should go see Jewelsh.

And I"m hopeful that Bennett, the father of two wonderful kids, and husband of one good wife, he says, will continue to consider what God might be saying to him, about this encounter and how Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with him.

And with you, dear reader.

3 comments:

Cecilia said...

another divinely-appointed conversation

Bob said...

And we continue to correspond, and I will write him for sure for Rosh Hashanah and see what other encounters he has had with God since August.

Bob said...

On Bennett's website is a link to this review from the festival. How funny that the reviewer was there that night also. We both enjoyed his show.

Review