John Hastings: 10 John Hastings I Hate About You
- Katharine Gemmell
- 15 August 2019
Masterful storytelling truly hits the spot
After hitting rock bottom in his personal life this year, what John Hastings lacks in positive experiences, he has gained in quality stand-up material. From having to borrow money from his parents to being separated from his partner due to visa issues, Hasting mines such disasters in return for some schadenfreude-induced belly-laughs. His talent lies in masterful storytelling ability, and throughout the hour many disparate strands weave together to create a colourful whole.
Hastings traverses his time in Britain, Canada and the USA, to explain that being Canadian isn't what people think it is (having a hot Prime Minister isn't great when he's ineffective) and provides an ingenious explainer on how the class system in his homeland works (it involves skis). The organic audience interactions are the highlight of the show, as he gives punters the spotlight for just enough time so that he can rip it away from them in fine style. He even sits with the audience smugly proclaiming 'bet you didn't think I could do that'.
However, a gag about political correctness doesn't muster the reaction he might have expected and it's a relief when he quickly moves on from it. Overall, Hastings creates a supercharged Fringe hour with a classic milk-chocolate appeal that results in a captivated audience.
Monkey Barrel, until 25 Aug, 9.30pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.