Jamie MacDonald is a gentle comic, even when brandishing his white cane as a weapon. Indeed, disdain aimed at bullies, gross but fantastic images of mumps/impetigo-ridden school dances and an absurd discussion of disability and terrorism never land with the churlishness of an Andrew Lawrence (thank goodness for that). This is an unintentionally topical hour that doesn’t fall back on insensitivity for cheap laughs.
The finest moments of this not-so-oblivious comedian’s act are the real experiences which lend themselves to hilarity, even if it might feel inappropriate.
That’s not to say he’s done without vulgar stuff. An encounter with a man who suggests reenacting a scene from Wolf of Wall Street together with the foolish antics of drunk friends quenches that public thirst. Quaint cutscenes are a wonderful demonstration of the lighter comedy at work: galleries plunged into darkness, purple prom lights that match Jamie’s Fila boots of yore, an intense exchange with a rather militaristic nun.
Sometimes MacDonald doesn’t delve very far into important questions, such as why a man is judged for walking in a park alone. A potentially interesting, and admittedly hilarious, look at Islamic ‘martyrdom’ ignores the fact that the translation of Abkarun is probably ‘angels’ rather than ‘virgins’.
The finest moments of this not-so-oblivious comedian’s act are the real experiences which lend themselves to hilarity, even if it might feel inappropriate. Blind football in goal, false tour guides, properly dodgy Glaswegian pubs, pet woes and NHS alert bells become interconnected struggles that MacDonald is great enough to laugh at. Who else can transport us to a 90s Highland Capoeira? The ultimate suggestion that today life is easier for the previously marginalised is questionable, but the importance of MacDonald’s perspective isn’t.