Comedy review: Johnny Donohoe
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Johnny Donohoe: Class Whore at Underbelly Bristo Square (Venue 300), reviewed by Kate Copstick
Nothing perks up the queuing experience quite like having the performer you are queuing to see bounce out and greet you all delightedly, doing away with that irritating five minutes of “register taking” at the top of the show proper. Johnny Donohoe is an absolutely delightful host for an hour. “I’m going to talk to you for a bit and then we all go home,” he says, underselling the show massively.
This is a show about class, but not in the usual “‘posh people are bad, throw rocks at them” way. Johnny talks posh. Properly but not incomprehensibly posh. But he wasn’t born posh and his mum (who figures prominently in the show) is not posh. In Johnny’s hour – alongside his flat-dwelling, bee-keeping, DCI Banks-watching and educational pioneer mum, as well as a lot of dead hamsters – we are introduced to the seven new classes that divide today’s UK and their archetypes. We should consider ourselves very lucky: what costs us simply a ticket to the Underbelly cost the government many millions of pounds. The classes run from the Elite to the Precariat. With most of us in between.
Johnny doesn’t like boxes, having moved from one to another aged 11 leaving friends and flat vowels behind him. Johnny ponders social mobility and the Ship of Theseus (much funnier than I have made it sound), does Orville impressions and reminds us he has had dinner with Steve Punt. Mr Donohoe’s mum would be so proud of her son, I feel. He is smart, endearingly charming, unfailingly polite and genuinely engaged by his subject. Hardly like a stand-up comic at all.
This is a lovely hour from a lovely man. Do remember to thank him on the way out, that would only be polite.
Originally published in The Scotsman