Monday, 12 November 2018

REVIEW: Carl Hutchinson: I Know I Shouldn't Behave Like This But... - The Frog And Bucket, Manchester.


The scene is The Frog and Bucket in Manchester and the time is 5 o’clock – not the normal slot for stand-up comedy at this historic club but the more I think about it the more I like this time – a couple of hours of comedy and still time to grab a bite to eat around town or get home for a very reasonable time before Monday morning work. It might just catch on.

The comedian in question is Carl Hutchinson, complete with Geordie accent and laddish attitude. This isn’t the first time I have seen Hutchinson this year, he supported Chris Ramsey on his tour a few months ago and I was a little concerned that there would be a lot of the same material in this show – I shouldn’t have been as Hutchinson addressed this very early on and mentioned a very small part of overlap but it was pleasing that he had considered this in his preparation. The biggest criticism I had of the show with Ramsey at the time is that they were too similar in terms of style but this was Hutchinson’s show alone and therefore I am able to judge him as such.

I was half expecting a support act but as the lights dimmed we were introduced to Hutchinson himself. He did a half hour slot of pretty much improvised comedy where he chatted to the audience and talked about the time he lived in Manchester when he was making his way as a young comedian. He was able to reference some local areas with a high degree of knowledge and he spoke about local drug dealers who prided themselves on customer service and his Sainsbury scam where we was able to buy (or steal – depending on your definition) cookies!

A 20 minute break followed before Hutchinson came back on stage for the main one hour show and this is where he really started to show what he can do. He talked much of becoming older and more responsible as an adult, whilst sharing some stories that essentially proved he was still very much a lad at heart. The story of his experience on a stag do and the photograph he shared with us was just one hilarious example of this.

The one storyline he overlapped with his prior Lowry show covered his new status as a homeowner and some brilliantly delivered material that involved him using the toilet at ASDA while he was having a new bathroom installed – Christmas Eve 2017 providing the exception where an 8 minute walk to said supermarket was not an option given the previous day’s extra hot curry.

Hutchinson has a very friendly stand-up style and is very easily distracted by the audience, on more than one occasion stopping to question people on their reactions or the odd polite heckle he received – this only enhanced the show. He is clearly a very experienced comedian in his own right and not just the regular support slot for Chris Ramsey – his show is both very well written and extremely well delivered. I sincerely hope that Hutchinson goes on to get some well-deserved recognition of his own very soon.

Reviewer – John Fish 
on - 11/11/18

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