John Hastings: Adventure (2 stars)

This article is from 2014

John Hastings: Adventure

Steve Ullathorne

The mercurial Canadian comic displays an all-too-fleeting talent for a well-crafted line at the Edinburgh Fringe

Brawny yet a self-confessed Star Wars and Tolkien expert, with a performance style that veers between eye-popping apoplexy and calm reflection, Canadian John Hastings is not a man who shies away from contradictions. His performance spans very different territories, which is appropriate enough for someone who left their home country and in 2012 moved to what proved to be the alien environment of the UK, finding adventures – just perhaps not the ones he’d hoped for.

The emerging differences between the two cultures provide a sizeable chunk of his material, and when he gets a target in his crosshairs, he transforms, Incredible Hulk-style, from being pale (in the way only someone with Scottish ancestry can be) to puce and loud enough to be heard in his Canadian homeland.
But he also shows a more sensitive side, talking about his love of books and the lonely reality of the hard graft required in getting started on the UK comedy circuit. It's a story that has a something of a happy ending: work has started to pick up, no doubt helped by his ear for a well-crafted line that is evident tonight, if too fleetingly at times.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 Aug, 9.45pm, £8 – £9.50 (£7 – £8.50).

John Hastings

  • 2 stars

Autobiographical stand-up and storytelling in which Hastings uses his experiences of depression and anxiety to deliver his own brand of humour.