‘Cracking’: part stand-up and part theatre, follows Shôn as he travels back to Wales in order to spend time with his mother. After playfully cracking an egg on his elderly mother’s head to relive a childhood joke, he finds himself hunted by ‘real-life internet trolls’. Written by and starring Shôn Dale-Jones, ‘Cracking’ is a seamless blend of stand-up comedy and dramatic theatre, leaving the audience wondering where reality ends and fiction begins.

Shôn, a self-proclaimed ‘mummy’s boy’, tells the tale of a visit to the Isle of Anglesey with the purpose of spending time with his mother while she awaits some news from her doctor. While reliving some childhood memories by cracking an egg against his mother’s head, he is caught doing so by his neighbour, unleashing an unrelentless sea of ‘trolls’. A mystery man permeates a story of a man abusing his poor elderly mother. With the world around him going mad over what is believed to be ‘Pure Evil’, Shôn struggles to stay sane.

Shôn Dale-Jones tells a perfectly ridiculous story, accompanied by chuckle-worthy impressions (and a wig!). A particularly memorable impression is that of his friend’s seven-year-old grandson, who is indecorous to say the least. Although it is only Shôn on stage, we get a scope of characters created through voice and physical performance skills.

Naturally, as a part stand-up performance, there is only a microphone and desk with a laptop and various sound equipment on stage. At the beginning of ‘Cracking’, we get an array of quotes and similar played through the mentioned sound equipment. Although this is used effectively throughout the rest of the performance’s duration, at the beginning it felt to me as if Shôn had purchased this equipment and was trying, to a futile effect, to get his money’s worth.

The script of ‘Cracking’ uses a part stand-up and part theatrical writing style. This is a unique and experimental style and has worked well for this show. As someone in the audience, I felt as if I was being told a meaningful yet funny story by a friend.

In summary, ‘Cracking’ tells a perfectly ridiculous story of a town gone made over a practical joke, as well as the touching bond between mother and son, and life and death.