“I love Edinburgh. Actually, I don’t.” It’s possible to get away with a punchline like that at the Fringe only under certain circumstances – Christopher MacArthur-Boyd, or ‘CMB’ as he is becoming known as in comedy circles, is a Glasgow boy, and his allegiance to his home city is unshakeable. But he does recommend Mary’s Milk Bar, an ice cream parlour on Grassmarket. He’s moved from the East End of Glasgow to the West End: having moved out of the family home, he and his “tall, Australian girlfriend” now have a place to call their own.
That, CMB feels, is essentially what the show is about, as he doesn’t really have anything more ground-breaking to talk about because not much else has happened in his life recently, unless he were to revisit some of the things he talked about at last year’s Fringe – and why would he want to do that? You get what you pay for – well, most of the time, anyway – and in MacArthur-Boyd’s case, while his flat is technically ‘furnished’ as pre-agreed, the quality of the furnishings is less than adequate to say the least.
There’s clearly the same show going on next door every night at the Gilded Balloon, as the noise periodically leaks through, and Christopher knows exactly where the very loudest points are, with a rendition of the 1993 Spanish dance anthem ‘Macarena’ at one point and what he calls “the clapping bit” at another. “If you’re reviewing this show, review that one too,” he grins broadly. Well, all I can say about that other show, whatever it is, is that it seems a lot of fun.
It’s a confident performance despite a glaring distraction, boldly soldiering on to talk about Glasgow’s alleged gentrification. A transaction in a coffee shop was highly pretentious (CMB couldn’t get his usual go-to drink, Irn-Bru), though surprisingly there was no mention of them getting his name wrong on the coffee cup. Let’s just say the days of being able to order ‘tea’ or ‘coffee’, with or without milk, are long gone.
There was a reference to the Cutty Sark, which apparently can now be used for performances, but otherwise I didn’t quite get why he called the show Dreamboat. Talk of the inferiority of own brand cereals and tomato ketchup on various levels were relatable for those who have ever tried them (your reviewer is, fortunately or unfortunately, not one to deviate from Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Heinz Tomato Ketchup). He’s reached, as he pointed out at the top of the show, number 59 in a list of the top sixty Scottish comedians. I suspect that position will improve before too long.
Review by Chris Omaweng
Born and bred in Glasgow, Christopher Macarthur-Boyd is a rising star on the stand-up scene. The last 12 months have seen him take his critically acclaimed debut show Home Sweet Home to the Edinburgh Fringe and London’s Soho Theatre – “a debut hour that seems endlessly enjoyable” (The Skinny). The show was officially the best reviewed of any Scottish stand-up at the fringe in 2018, and earned Christopher the esteemed title of Best Breakthrough Act at the Scottish Comedy Awards 2109.
This festival, his new show Dreamboat sees Christopher fresh out of his mum and dad’s house and into a flat with his Australian girlfriend, where he finds himself to be the voice of ‘Generation Rent’. Expect jokes about empty nest syndrome, gentrification, landlords, classlessness, and breakfast cereal.
Aug 14-25 2019
Gilded Balloon Teviot