Jamie MacDonald comes from a tradition of endearingly grumpy comics, ranting affably about all of life’s niggles, from racist taxi drivers to obnoxious ramblers. Nominally discussing how he often stands out as a blind man, the greatest enjoyment comes from his descriptions of his encounters with some gloriously horrible people.
It’s entertaining stuff that doesn’t take itself very seriously, and MacDonald plays the part of misanthropic Scotsman superbly.
Though the primary joke is just MacDonald getting annoyed at things, the comedy definitely works, especially as he starts to get into his stride. Each of his targets is brought to life with an on-point silly voice, or even an oddly hilarious sound effect for the ominous patter of a two year-old’s feet in the process of laying waste to MacDonald’s house. We can all agree that these are terrible people – it’s hardly unusual to find racists and gap year students as the butt of a comic’s jokes after all – but the gags don’t feel tired. Whilst the material and delivery are both a little old-fashioned, this doesn’t make the show any less enjoyable.
Aside from one justified harangue about the council’s lack of provision for the blind, the show is in no way a serious look at the impact of MacDonald’s disability on his life. The tone is always light, including some enjoyably naff puns about blindness. The only segment that let the set down focused on MacDonald’s stag weekend, in which the descriptions of his friend’s laddish antics seemed more suited to pub banter than a Fringe audience.
It’s entertaining stuff that doesn’t take itself very seriously, and MacDonald plays the part of misanthropic Scotsman superbly. Whilst a lot of the Fringe stand-ups seem to be becoming increasingly earnest or have a point to prove, it’s occasionally refreshing to relax to MacDonald’s simple laughs.