John Hastings: Float Like a Butterfly, John Hastings Like a Bee (3 stars)

John Hastings: Float Like a Butterfly, John Hastings Like a Bee

credit: Tim Leyes

Storytelling thankfully trumps audience chat in an occasionally icky show

A good vegetarian boy, John Hastings struggled coming to terms with having ended a poor pigeon's life, albeit to put the bird out of its misery. He knows that his culinary lifestyle choice makes him an easy target for carnivores and vegans, and similarly he believes his stand-up can be alienating to audiences. Not a bit of it, as the Canadian muscles his way through a solid hour of stand-up that is perfectly palatable to all shades of comedy fan, whether they are a connoisseur or casual observer.

His chat with audience members is playful and, mercifully, doesn't overstay its welcome, while he has very fine storytelling skills to hand. The main thrust across his hour is, like the seemingly necessary avian-slaughter, another icky tale but which this time involves his own pain after being the victim of a hit-and-run accident which left him (literally) a broken man. There's a spot of banter about the differences between the US and UK which just about passes muster, but he has a delightful line about his mother continuing to put her head in the sand when it comes to the crimes of Bill Cosby.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug, 8.30pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10).

John Hastings: Float Like a Butterfly, John Hastings Like a Bee

  • 3 stars

John Hastings' new show is his recollection of displacement, death and denial – and some jokes too.

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