Will Jackson procures some stamps and decides to write letters to people. So begins Yours Sincerely, a heartwarming account of personal connectivity. Daniel Perks reviews:

Yours Sincerely plays out like a sweet, young adult rom-com, a To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before style production where Will Jackson writes letters to people, and in so doing discovers his passion and cements his identity.

Dear Diary…

Yours Sincerely Assembly Rooms
Will Jackson

In reality, Jackson accidentally stole 300 second class stamps and is using the might of the Royal Mail – his corporate victim – to hide his indiscretion.

“Does anyone else want a penis”?

Yours Sincerely Assembly Rooms
Will Jackson

It’s still a sweet tale though, one that meanders along at an engaging pace due in the main to Jackson’s delivery – honest, affable, genuine. It’s also in Anna Himali Howard’s insightful direction, keeping tempo and pause in balance to maintain audience engagement. There’s a series of gimmicky backing tracks in the sound design, and the whole story has a somewhat twee wholesome feel to it. But Yours Sincerely is, as its name describes, a sincere tale.

Yours Sincerely Assembly Rooms
Will Jackson

And yet despite being a great-big-hug-in-a-mug kind of show, there is also sass abound in this production. Jackson deconstructs modern-day sociological tropes in a likeable fashion, a social commentary on the need for people to connect juxtaposed with the technology that continually isolates society from actual physical contact. It’s in his letters where Jackson truly emotes – he praises, admits, apologises, flirts – all as part of a “queer millennial perspective”. There is creativity in these narrative ideas, and while some of them fall flat, Jackson isn’t afraid to test them out and gauge response.

Yours Sincerely Assembly Rooms
Will Jackson (image courtesy of Matt Cawrey)

Yours Sincerely ends happily, as expected. It also ends somewhat in disarray – the stage, like Jackson’s perception of his life, is strewn with random bits of information. But when Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 is packed with socio-political hard-hitters, or intense explorations of a darker side to humanity, it’s refreshing to have Yours Sincerely as a relatable and earnest counterbalance.

★★★☆☆

Yours Sincerely is now playing at Assembly Rooms until 24 August 2019. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit the festival website.