John Hastings is back at the Fringe and has moved out of his regular haunt, the Pleasance Courtyard, to a more homely Monkey Barrel. The change is nice, as is the reduction in ticket prices. A softly spoken Canadian comic, Hastings has done great trade the last few years and this years offering does not disappoint.
You'd be insane to miss it.
Hastings has practically written my review for me, during the course of his hour he gave ‘any critics in the room’ a laundry list of instructions of what to include and not include in their reviews. I shall try my best to honour his instructions where memory allows, which the exception of one – Dear John’s fiancé, he cares deeply about issues of racism and feminism but only in so far as he believes that once they are resolved you will stop bleating on about it. Sorry John.
Hastings continues to provide wild entertainment with his ‘off-piste’ (show reference) sections. What I return time and again for; he is an excellent off-the-cuff comic, ribbing the audience, dealing with the quirks of free-fringe venues. At one point he even leaves the room to investigate handing a the microphone to a girl on the front row who looked delighted and terrified in equal measure.
Overall the actual planned material seems a little more niche and random than usual, Hastings otherwise being known for having a relatively strong narrative arcs in most of his shows. It doesn’t detract too much but it’s a new experience for those familiar with his past shows. The material is still completely fresh and as ‘can’t-quite-breathe’ funny as usual.
Hastings, born in Canada, lived in England for seven years but has recently departed our fair isles in favour of America, a true tragedy as far as I’m concerned. He says we Brits don’t do compliments so please John, I love your show and your pink shirt with the white lightning bolts was hella cute. Will you please consider returning? He’s been one of my must-not-miss comics for years now and given that tickets are just a fiver you’d be insane to miss it.