Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Oh No | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Oh No

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

He’s still baby-faced enough to get away with a Home Alone spoof as his poster, but it’s been a long time since Christopher MacArthur-Boyd was the fresh young thing of Scottish comedy. However, he still retains an endearingly child-like outlook, at least in some of his material such as giving buses personalities or conjuring up cutely silly pictures of sheepdogs.

Such whimsy contrasts with other routines in which he plays up the grit of his working-class Glaswegian upbringing, from descriptions of his gnarled, ex-serviceman grandfather to gags built on the usual stereotypes of being quick to violence. But he sees an honesty in such instinctive lashing-out compared to the calculating cold-blooded story of middle-class revenge he relates here.

Most crucial to the show, however, is the recurring references to the fact he had a tough lockdown, with the comedy career that was ramping up to the big league so unexpectedly pulled from beneath him. ‘Loopy’ is the euphemism he first uses, although it becomes increasingly apparent he was suffering from depression. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to work that out, just a glance at his Deliveroo order history.

Not one for wallowing the misery, he treats this with the lightest of touches, describing even such bleak incidents as pissing himself with amused detachment. And he suggests that the usual mental health message of ‘just talk to somebody’ needs a qualifier.

The casual, conversational attitude to all this fits his laid-back demeanour. Macarthur-Boyd spends most of the hour leaning back lazily against the plain white back wall of the Carnivore venue, coming to animated life for some of his excellent act-outs and fluid crowd work.

As well as more recent history, he reflects on his teenage self, lacking in self-esteem and so beta that he’d disappoint his mum with his lack of sex life, and random topics from Canadian slang to My Octopus Teacher. But he makes it all flow effortlessly - even when, in this preview, he thinks he doesn’t. For whatever issues he has off stage, he’s relaxed and funny on it.

• Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Oh No is on at Monkey Barrel Comedy (Carnivore) at 18:20

Review date: 4 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: PBH's Free Fringe @ Carnivore Edinburgh

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