Although I’m trying to see comedian’s whom I haven’t seen before, I’ve no objection to going to shows of people whom I have a lot of confidence in, provided I’m not double-booked. Alex Hylton, who is promising to be a very good comedian, falls into this category. His show, I came, I saw, I complained (Mash House 14:20), looked interesting. Not many people can keep a Galea company in Edinburgh and still keep their integrity – Hylton manages to do this without looking like an arts type on a gap year. Possibly because it was a Saturday, perhaps it was due to people wanting to get out of the rain or maybe he is an excellent flyerer, but this was a show that was sold out. His room probably holds 70 people or so and the venue staff had to turn 20 people away, promising those with tickets either a refund or that they could go tomorrow. It’s nice to be in a well attended gig, as the atmosphere can be electric and I counted myself very lucky to get in.
Hylton, who (slightly disappointingly) didn’t perform wearing the Roman helmet, began with a few quick jokes to get the audience onboard. At this point, he did a bit of a double take at the front row and asked an audience member how old they were. It transpired that they were 11. Hylton pointed out in a bemused tone that it was a 14+ show, which got a nice laugh. After confirming that they would be ok with any language used, we resumed.
The narrative arc to this show ias Hylton’s journey, literally and metaphorically. He had material on literal journeys, such as his car being like a woman, which is a bit of a well used trope (the Betty breaking down line was both funny and clever) and a far stronger story about why he is banned from Virgin trains. This last tale was gripping and drew everyone into it. There were a number of pleasant side stories that he explored before returning to his journey, such as the tale of Britain First coming to Leicester, although not everyone got the irony straight away. The Too Easy material was very good and resulted in a nice applause break and later call back. The running gag of announcing his name was nice and well pitched with him not tearing the arse out of it. Hylton’s final story, that of his work with Lad Bible and how he dealt with a troll started off slowly. His description of Lad Bible and how regressive it is was perhaps a bit heavy handed, but the call back to Too Easy was good and the story of how he was avenged upon the troll was more than worth the build up. The only aspect that I wasn’t too keen on was him telling us that he was not a manly man, as this is getting to be almost an endemic line. However, this did set up a great routine and there was a good twist on Dodgeball.
Hylton ended by discussing the metaphoric journey of how he has successfully followed his dream and performed a show in Edinburgh and encouraged everyone present to follow their dreams, which made for an upbeat ending to the show. This was a packed out performance that was very satisfying and contained more than enough laughs to justify attending.