Pete Johansson - Utopian Crack Pipe

Johansson is master of the classic ‘making the audience think I’m just going off on a spontaneous tangent before the show proper starts but actually this is just my show’ manoeuvre. Only his tangent was about his love for bears. His ideas on more having more bears in Britain solving the problems of the riots, gypsies and dogging just became tiresome. Extreme fantastical whimsicality is fine occasionally, but a ten minute spiel of it was too much to take. His material was often too genuine to be funny. Johannson had some very touching moments in his show about his wife, his mother and his love for animals, particularly bears. I was often moved at these moments, but it just wasn’t comedy.

After an anecdote about roaring like a bear to frighten airport staff into letting him on a plane to see his ill mother, Johannsson closes the show with a video montage of, you guessed it, bears. The montage was amusing, and I thought that if Johannsson wanted to convince his audience that bears are cool, he’s done it. At the end of the video, Johannsson has put a dedication to his mother. He then returns to the stage with tears in his eyes, inspiring some in mine too. Bears had helped him see his mother before she died. Beautiful.

The intelligent and heartfelt ending made up for what had previously been a disappointing hour. On balance, his story is one worth hearing.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Johansson is back in Edinburgh this year to chronicle his self addiction of trying to make the world what he thinks is a better place. Book early! 'Supremely entertaining' (Independent).

Most Popular See More

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets