Stuart McPherson: Mr. November | Edinburgh Fringe review by Paul Fleckney
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Stuart McPherson: Mr. November

Edinburgh Fringe review by Paul Fleckney

Stuart McPherson isn’t the first (male) comic I’ve seen this Fringe comparing himself to a grandparent and decide they’ve come up short. 

In McPherson’s case, his granddad was a shipbuilder with a job for life, whereas he hops from insecure job to insecure job, the most notable being a baked potato stall that closed down after six months. McPherson seems an intelligent man; I would hope that he gives himself a break and realises that this isn’t exactly his fault.  

Anyway, he uses this as a handy springboard to talk about his anxieties as a member of Generation Rent, who pay over the odds for bad housing, pretend to be in couples to save money, and whose biggest memory of childhood is 9/11.

If this sounds like a bit of a downer for a comedy show, then it must be said that McPherson  enormously likeable and affable, and let’s face it his grievance is legitimate. In other words, he wears his anxieties lightly – although this could be a form of resignation, as he does hint a few times that when things are so screwed up, it can be almost liberating.

His routines are pretty handy too, especially on what it’s like to go home and visit his parents, and how bad he would be at looking after them in their dotage. I enjoyed the image he creates of his anti-waste grandfather retrieving coat hangers from the bin. On less serious matters, McPherson has good material on the matter of attempting to buy alcohol after 10pm in Scotland (a problem that was a shock to his English girlfriend), and he is 100 per cent correct to highlight the horror of being offered a beer in a hairdresser. 

A  momentary misjudgment is an Anne Frank/subletting joke that isn’t especially offensive, but is so tonally different to the rest of the show it arrives with a jolt. And in search of a memorable ending he has splashed out £30 to pay Wagner off The X Factor to say a few lines for him (talk about the gig economy), which is vaguely related to the show, but is, to be honest, pretty strange. 

This isn’t a stellar show, but McPherson shows signs of good comic writing, and has the skill to say what he’s saying without being hectoring or killing the gig. He seems more interested in bridges, not barriers. I foresee more good things to come from Mcpherson for sure.

Review date: 19 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Paul Fleckney

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