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Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Oh No – Monkey Barrel Comedy

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd is in mild disagreement with a couple of his fellow Scots that I happen to know who do the Glasgow to Edinburgh commute – he likes the train journey and sees no reason to use his platform to take ScotRail to task. So laidback and at ease that he leans against the stage wall for most of the show, there’s a calm and steady delivery that allows the audience to enjoy the ride by sitting back and relaxing rather than buckling up and steeling themselves.

Christopher Macarthur-BoydCMB, as he has become known to his fanbase, goes further than most Fringe comics in discussing the pandemic. Rather than acknowledging, respectfully, that it happened and how grateful we all are to be back doing the things we couldn’t do due to public health restrictions, and then moving on to other topics, Christopher delves deeper. Admitting, candidly, to mental ill health, some of the advice he was given was distinctly unhelpful. The idea of talking to ‘someone’ is too broad to be of any use as a therapeutic technique, and even potentially dangerous. Of course, the subject was addressed with infinitely more humour than I’m giving it here, but I’m not going to steal Christopher’s thunder and reveal punchlines.

I still don’t know what the show was actually about, other than a series of reflections over the last couple of years – but some of the stories stretch back from years ago, such as his visit to Magaluf as a teenager. Let’s just say he didn’t come back with an STD. I found some of the material highly relatable, such as ordering Deliveroo twice in one day during lockdown, especially odd as it isn’t as if there wasn’t time to cook for oneself.

There’s a marvellous introduction for the uninitiated, like yours truly, to HelloFresh, a recipe box delivery service that apparently provides all the raw ingredients needed to cook meals in about twenty minutes or less. Interactions with the audience at the performance I attended revealed Christopher to be a man well-travelled. A seemingly effortless show that provides an alternative definition to the term ‘relaxed performance’.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

“Oh no” – is the only correct response to the last few years. With both his own personal mental health problems as well as the grander issues of class inequality exacerbated by the pandemic, Christopher Macarthur-Boyd – Glasgow’s finest comedian – has responded to this cataclysm the only way he knows how: with an hour of laid-back clever stand-up about going insane, peeing yourself, and becoming your own grandad.

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd
Oh No! Monkey Barrel. Carnivore 2, 6.20pm
3rd-28th Aug (day off 17th)
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022

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