Chris Washington: Raconteur | Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett
review star review star review star review blank star review blank star

Chris Washington: Raconteur

Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett

Chris Washington opens his show by proclaiming: ‘Welcome to the comfort zone’ and proceeds to perform in front of a banner which reads: ‘#LeastRiskyComicInTheBiz’.

And these aren’t the only disclaimers, as he repeatedly and explicitly points out that there’s no tragedy, no depth and no message to his comedy.  ‘I’m just a lad from Wigan telling stories,’ he asserts.

This former postman can’t emphasise his lack of ambition enough. But it’s not a gimmick: he shuns excitement in real life as he does on stage, as his story of his timid visit to a go-kart track attests. He’s 30 going on 60, liking the quiet life of eating pies, having a ‘little mooch’ around service stations, and spending time in the garden centre. 

Washington was invited out to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival earlier this year, and his big stories are about crisps and pharmacies being slightly different out there. No one could accuse him of not being relatable.

So the material’s slight, even if his big news that he’s planning a wedding threatens to put at least some relevant narrative on to the back half of the hour.

His down-to-earth delivery is similarly low-key and casually conversational, but that also knocks on to his writing, which isn’t especially taut. He wants to give space and naturalism to his stories, not hone every word.  The upshot of that is a warm and charming show, but also fewer laughs, less momentum and no sense of crescendo that other, more hard-hitting, comics can boast.

Review date: 2 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

What do you think?

Today's comedy-on demand picks

A THEATRE NEAR YOU

Stephen Fry, Marcus Brigstocke, Lucy Porter and Rachel Parris are taking part in a showcase from the Oxford Playhouse, alongside performers from other genres.

Not just a gig, the event has been written by comedian Kevin Day and directed by Simon Evans (not the comedian, but the man who directed David Tennant and Michael Sheen in BBC One’s lockdown comedy Staged).

Click for more suggestions
... including another episode of Comedians: Home Alone and the full Carol Burnett Show back catalogue on Amazon Prime.

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.