Review: John Peacock – Coming Clean

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By Dina Ustovic

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mindshare is a creative community and online mental health publication. Reflections are by mindshare writers with lived experience of mental illness, specifically critiquing through a mental health lens. Content may contain triggering themes.

Armed with nothing but the truth, John Peacock is finally ready to speak his mind in his latest show, Coming Clean. Peacock skilfully weaves us a tale of a middle-aged man finally learning what he wants to be, all while providing us with jaw-dropping and poignant observations he has encountered throughout his life.

It is clear Peacock is at his best when providing us with insights into his life. His ability to turn what even seems like a mundane tale into a hilarious bit is his biggest strength. Largely based on observational humour, Peacock has a dry wit and true sincerity about him that helps elevate his comedy. It is charming and provides more authenticity to his show. From being a carpet cleaner to his “estranged” brother, Peacock has a large quantity of captivating stories that simply draws the audience in, eager to discover more.

Unfortunately Coming Clean is not without its flaws. Part of this review was to look at the show through a mental health lens and Peacock barely skims the surface of this topic. Any mention is kept at a surface level, lacking in any real nuance or depth. As it is kept light, the topic quickly devolves into another story or joke. Which, whilst captivating, it does not do much to further any conversation or even match some of the marketing promises.

Interestingly, Peacock does have glimmers of insights that would have benefited by being more fleshed out. His experience with addiction is powerful to hear and his journey of recovery is fascinating as it shows how our addictions play a role in this important step. It would have been nice if this topic were explored more throughout the show as it allows the audience to form a deeper connection with Peacock. His humour and comedic timing would have allowed for a truly nuanced and original take on battling with addiction.

Perhaps by providing more context and fleshing out certain topics, Peacock can further express his truth. Despite the surface level and light-hearted look into mental health, Peacock has provided an entertaining show that will certainly resonate with most audiences. Based on its entertaining production and mindshare’s criteria; two and a half stars. 

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