John Hastings: Do You Have Any Ointment My John Hastings

A show to make his mum proud...

John Hastings: Do You Have Any Ointment My John Hastings

John Hastings has had an awful couple of years. He got divorced, he nearly died, his best friend received a terminal diagnosis, and he got bed bugs. Oh, and he pooed his pants. 

Only a comedian would reflect on that period and go, “I need to tell a sold out room full of people about this experience, every night for 3 weeks”, but I’m so glad he did. 

Despite some truly horrendous events, Hastings has managed to spin them into excellent material, and had the whole audience in stitches. Despite his mum being in the audience he didn't hold back, talking openly about his childhood, his relationship with his dad, his sex life, and what he was doing when he heard the news of his grandad’s death. There was even a nice story about self-sucking that will take some time to move on from, mentally. 

John is a natural on stage, cajoling audiences along for the ride with his hushed, pacifying voice, making the content (which is frequently sordid) even funnier. He’s also great at handling audience interaction, getting the balance right between engagement and shutting down would-be hecklers.

It’s clear that John is still recovering from the trauma of the last few years, especially the loss of his friend and comedy director, Paul Byrne. Losing composure for a quick beat, John brings it back as he tells of how he had to essentially ad lib the eulogy. 

‘Do You Have Any Ointment My John Hastings’ is a surprisingly touching show that deftly treads the line between puerile, crass and emotional. There are comedians who try to turn their pain into comedy far before they’re ready and it comes across as uncomfortable. It’s clear that John, although still raw, is healing, which gave the audience permission to enjoy it – and we did!

How would he rate his show? “3 stars, traumatising for mum.” 

He’s a harsh critic.

Header Image Credit: Mandee Johnson Photography

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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