Tom Houghton: The Honourable
- Rowena McIntosh
- 10 August 2018
Upper-class storytelling comedy from cheeky stand-up
The Honourable is not just a playful show name: ever since Tom Houghton's father became a lord, it is in fact the stand-up's official title. Houghton lives in the actual Tower of London and was labelled last year as 'the next Jack Whitehall'; this is most definitely upper-class comedy. But even though he inhabits a world where horses and Land Rovers are just regular possessions, his material remains relatable as it revolves around family.
Houghton is a brilliant storyteller, with extended anecdotes about accompanying his dad to the House of Lords for the first time and his little sister's early embrace of goth culture at boarding school. Through energetic physicality and character turns, he brings the stories vividly to life, hunched over as a geriatric lord and scuttling about as a demonic child.
A brief mention of guns is the only time he teeters on the edge of topical political debate, but honesty about both growing up as the son of an over-achiever and how privilege doesn't stop you seriously messing up adds emotional depth to this relaxed and well-honed hour of easy laughter. Honourable or not, Houghton's confident cheekiness seems an obvious fit for the TV panel show market.
Pleasance Dome, until 26 Aug,8.10pm, £8–£10 (£7–£9).