Words by Susan Ford
Punchline’s philosophy is very simple; take a great venue and a great comedian, and smoosh them both together for a tremendous night of live comedy. We did exactly this when Canadian John Hastings performed alongside Pappy’s, David Trent and Charlie Baker as part of the third Punchline Comedy Gala. 2013’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival also saw John Hastings take to the stage very successfully as part of the renowned Comedy Reserve, and its great to see that he’s still performing his unique brand of comedy up and down the country.
Tonight we’re at the Stand in Newcastle, where John Hastings is on the bill alongside Craig Hill, Abi Roberts, Nicola Mantalios-Lovett, and compere Matt Reed.
Compere Matt Reed obviously knows a lot about good comedy; he responds very quickly to his heckles and keeps the crowd ticking in between each act. Matt Reed combines a local accent with his hearty flare for jokes, making him an idealistic host for tonight’s show in Newcastle. He also has a knack for introducing the other acts this evening with gusto and enthusiasm, so by the time John Hastings reaches the stage, the audience know exactly what to expect.
Or do they? John Hasting’s exterior is that of a nice, friendly clean cut Canadian, but there is wit and evil lining every anecdote, which hits you with surprise at every turn. Since performing at Punchline, John has adapted and twisted his jokes in to an even tighter set than before, adding in new quips and quirks that make him forever outstanding. The initial draw of his quiet and seemingly calm personality is quickly smashed when he really gets going, and it’s clear to see that his confidence in performance will only get better as the years go on.
The Thursday show at the Stand is a very popular occasion with local comedy fans, and John Hastings has continued to impress us all at Punchline: it has been a glorious evening all round. Join the Punchliners on twitter @punchlineuk, and stay tuned here for more news, debates and reviews.