Edinburgh Fringe 2019
The show is titled: ‘I Shouldn’t Behave This Way’, and if half the things Carl says are true, he probably shouldn’t. This is the story of a guy who likes a drink or two and if it all gets a bit messy, that’s all the better.
Carl Hutchinson brings his no nonsense stand up to the Edinburgh Fringe, somewhere he may be out of his cultural depth.
This was never going to be a show about high brow culture, literature or the arts. In fact it’s just the opposite. Carl tells us from the off that he has no cultural pretensions. He’s just a guy that likes to sit around his house and get drunk, anything else is a bit of an inconvenience.
Given the quality of the set, his performance and the laughter of the crowd best take that with a pinch of salt, even if it is for the Tequila.
The show is built around the premise that a man of his age should not behave this way. If he has done half the things he’s said, he probably shouldn’t. He regales us with stories of his adventures, his drunken mishaps and his in built I couldn’t give a f*** attitude.
This is comedy from the wrong side of the tracks. It’s built around lives and communities where this kind of behaviour is quite normal, and rather different from the ‘one small glass of Suav’ more typical of Edinburgh Festival audiences. Carl develops this theme into a nice pastiche.
And there we have it, everything is not as it would first appear. Carl is a very clever comic, it comes easily to him. He banters with the audience, tells his stories with a cheeky twinkle, delivers unexpected punchlines and occasionally engages in slapstick. There is a disarming charm about him. Make no mistake about it, there is a very clever mind at work here. It’s just in a bloke’s body.
He does work in some smarter themes, subtly, almost easy to miss. Like a magician using mis-direction he tricks us into not being aware of how clever he is. There is detailed construction in the layout of the set and the use of call backs. The unifying theme rattles the show a long and for the audience it is on an easy track to follow.
I wondered whether the comedy was too male centred, stories of drunkenness told with bravado and graphic detail, so I asked some of the ladies in the audience. They didn’t seem to think so, finding the show hilarious. It may be my sensibilities over reacting.
He tells his stories with confidence and energy, working hard to make us laugh. He is easy on the eye, quick of wit and, with a slightly cleaned up set, it is easy to see him waking out on Live at The Apollo. Provided he can be bothered!
This is an excellent set, well delivered and just the right thing to see with your mates after a few beers and forget about what a sh**e day you had. It’s definitely recommended.