Canadian John Hastings hits the stage with no hesitation. It’s immediately clear that this is a comedy adept of a high order.
He doesn’t waste time on the tired “how are you, Bath? You OK” cliché’d nonsense – though his audience rapport is excellent and expertly done, constantly commenting on how sections of the crowd are, or should be, responding correctly to his jokes – but never picking on anyone.
He covers a lot of ground about Canada and why, historically, Canadians have reasons to hate England, America, and France.
There’s a lot of friendly poking of fun at British attitudes too, but mostly it’s anecdotes about his own life and love, his dyspraxia, his anxiety, and his struggles with intercontinental bureaucracy. But he never actually comes across as anxious.
He’s in complete control of his material, and even if he does have some minor fluff, he can effortlessly make that a joke, so the show never falters.
It’s a satisfying pleasure to be in the company of a consummate professional.
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Reviewer: John Christopher Wood | Star rating: ****
John Hastings performed 10 John Hastings I Hate About You at the Ring O’Bells in Widcombe, Bath on Wednesday 24th July 2019.