Matt Hutchinson: Hostile | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Matt Hutchinson: Hostile

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

For a show ironically named Hostile, Matt Hutchinson’s Fringe debut strikes a fine balance between light humour and political truths.

He sets the scene with a tense video montage. Clips of the police dancing at Notting Hill Carnival, trying to ease tensions, merge into Parliamentary footage of David Lammy talking about Windrush. But don’t let this fool you, Hutchinson admits the intensity is merely a dramatic ploy, deliberately putting the audience on edge before easing us into the gentle rhythm of his comedy. Nor is that the last time he pokes fun at the ‘tofu-eating-wokerati’ who have come to see him. 

The heart of this hour was about the immigrant and black British experience, drawing on Hutchinson’s Jamaican heritage and middle-class upbringing. His takes on politics are not ‘hostile’ but humorous, as he criticises appropriation and gentrification while admitting his love for artisanal coffee shops. 

A particular tale to watch out for is about being stopped and searched - the reason for which will astound you. His astute political observations - such as about the neo-Nazi terror offender who was ordered to read Jane Austen - pull out the contradictions in our world, finding comedy in the controversial while also drawing attention to the heart of the problem.

It seems no one is safe from Hutchinson’s jabs, as he reveals that he is an NHS doctor - then promptly proceeds to poke fun at extreme US treatments, where a Covid patient was once met with a bomb disposal robot instead of a doctor. 

A man of many talents, Hutchinson is not only a doctor, but also a DJ, entertaining the audience with raps about the cost-of-living crisis and central heating. His ability to lift the mood and bring a party-like energy to the room while performing a political comedy is incredible. 

Hutchinson’s intimate knowledge of the UK political scene is interspersed with comedic call-backs to pop culture moments, seemingly covering every facet of life, using Formula 1 to criticise racism in sports, and linking the TV show Luther to the Met Police. 

Through Hutchinson’s absurd comedy, the audience finally come to understand the secret as to why so many racists are vegan. It’s humour you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. 

Review date: 21 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Kashmini Shah
Reviewed at: Assembly George Square

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