Going Coastal With Donald McGinty | Brighton Fringe comedy review
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Going Coastal With Donald McGinty

Brighton Fringe comedy review

Talk about commitment to the idea. Post-lockdown, Manchester-based comedian Sean Mason made just over a dozen episodes of his spoof travelogue Going Coastal, most about ten to 15 minutes long, even though most of them attracted well short of 100 viewers on YouTube. 

But he clearly believes the idea, presented in the guise of his Scottish alter-ego Donald McGinty, has (sea) legs and has now created a live spin-off, too.

It has the slight feel of a sketch idea that’s got too big for his boots, but the appeal is that Mason has created a whole, credible world around this mild-mannered character. The videos certainly evoke the endless genre of personable presenters walking towards the camera in scenic UK locations, with quirky ideas such as a ‘save our seagulls’ campaign – as if they need saving – giving things a twist.

The suggestion that something awful happened during filming provides some cheekily dark asides, while there’s a recurring story about McGinty being reunited with his seafaring grandfather for added plot. It’s all nonsense but Mason presents it with a good-natured adherence to the fiction that encourages the audiences to get on board, too, from trying to learn semaphore to applauding small triumphs.

It’s mildly silly rather than raucously laugh-out-loud, but the lapping tide of gently amiable parody is quietly cheering while McGinty proves an affable captain of this enjoyable pleasure cruise.

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Review date: 13 May 2024
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Brighton The Walrus

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