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Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Home Sweet Home – Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Home Sweet Home
Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Home Sweet Home

Allegedly, it’s the Hungarians who show their dislike for the Scottish far more than the Welsh, English and Irish. Fortunately, or unfortunately for Christopher Macarthur-Boyd, a lot of the Hungarian putdowns about the Scottish are completely illogical and are not so much offensive but rather gibberish. At least they are not a metaphor for his show, Home Sweet Home, an account of his life to date. It is all crystal clear. A member of the so-called ‘boomerang generation’, he moved out of the family home in order to attend university, and when that phase of his life was done, he found himself back in Glasgow. His girlfriend hails from Australia (cue the question, “Are there any Australians in the house?”) and his impression of her accent seems Australian enough.

The use of metaphors was quite striking. St Andrew’s University, for instance, was compared to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in JK Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series, “if everyone was in Slytherin”. The aforementioned Australian accent sounds “like seagulls from ‘Finding Nemo’”. At 5’ 3” (his choice to point that out) he is quite literally a ‘wee Scotsman’, but an engaging manner and excellent rapport with the audience makes him stand tall.

There are, he points out, good and bad reasons to hate certain people: racism, in his mind, makes no sense. And, for the record, it doesn’t in mine either, nor, I suspect, in yours. It is one thing to point out that Person X is an immigrant. It is quite another to point out that Person X is someone who routinely boards trains before passengers alighting at that station have had an opportunity to step onto the platform.

There’s something in this show for almost everyone. Macarthur-Boyd discusses the near-universal hot topics of Scottish independence and exiting the European Union – there is division within his family on both points – but at other times goes into topics that relatively few in the audience can claim specialist knowledge about. Wrestling is the subject that comes to mind, and Macarthur-Boyd has a wonderful line of argument in response to those who criticise the sport for its apparent fakery.

And he’s right: characters in a theatrical play are effectively just as fake. Elsewhere, just to prove a fellow audience member is as Glaswegian as he is, they both testify to the value for money of a certain restaurant in that city.

Margaret Thatcher features in a joke that is hilarious for the unassuming, while the ongoing rivalry between Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers football clubs continues to bemuse Macarthur-Boyd. All he can see is 40,000 people trading insults with 40,000 other people, and therefore it’s really “eighty thousand people going, ‘My dad never told me that he loved me!’” It’s all ridiculously charming, and brutally honest. Like most comedians, he’s had experiences of gigs with audiences less attentive than the Edinburgh Fringe crowds. Bathgate is slated – geographically between Edinburgh and Glasgow but “politically between Theresa May and Kim Jong-un”. Macarthur-Boyd is a name to look out for, a rising star with poise and confidence. The boy done good, and I reckon he knows it.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

The debut hour from the future of Scottish stand-up. Christopher Macarthur-Boyd’s new girlfriend has moved all the way from Australia to live with him… and his mum and dad. Yes, that’s right, he’s one of the 3.4 million adults in the UK who still dwells with his parents.

Macarthur-Boyd hilariously skewers the effects of this uniquely millennial problem on his love life, mental health, and general wellbeing. Living in such close quarters with two prime examples of the baby boomer generation, you can expect jokes about wrestling, modern masculinity, Scottishness, pornography, and crying in train stations.

CHRISTOPHER MACARTHUR-BOYD:
Home Sweet Home
Gilded Balloon Teviot, The Turret
1st – 26th August (not 13th ), 10.15pm

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