Nathan Caton: Straight Outta Middlesex
A charming operator with home truths to tell
This article is from 2015.
By the tenth minute of Straight Outta Middlesex, Nathan Caton had winsomely explored the life and times of about eight punters and set the tone for a warm and charming hour of comedy. Caton’s strongest material centres on his home life, where his brother, mother and stepfather are given close and considered attention. They’re the beating heart of his set, fully rounded characters that give the whole performance an emotional grounding and something of a moral compass. In particular, Caton gets good mileage out of the absurdity of his teenage brother’s uncomplicated perspectives on life.
Caton’s sheer geniality more than props up a few less generous or imaginative passages, however, where he seemed slightly less sure-footed. In the middle section, he seemed to run a little haphazardly from one topical skit to the next, taking in American mass shootings, racial profiling and the Andy Coulson trial, as well as a fairly safe few minutes on the folly of political correctness.
These lacked the verve and insight of the segments that more obviously touched closer to home. Despite a slightly uneven hour, Caton is a convincing and charming operator, and when his storytelling gets into full flow it’s a joy to behold.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 17), 8pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10).