Tag Archives: John Hastings

Punchline Recommends: John Hastings ‘Marked From the Start’

20 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Punchline favourite John Hastings returns to the Festival this year, in a bigger venue with an even bigger show. ‘Marked From the Start’ is a hilarious, yet emotional tale of John’s early years, and how family life in Canada has shaped him into the comedian he is today.
john hastings
John tells his anecdotes with passion, cleverly incorporating comedy into every story. John finds the funny in everything he does, and shares his imaginative and smart sense of humour with the audience at every turn. ‘Marked From the Start’ is a real insight into John’s own personal life, meaning the comedy it brings with it is very realistic and touching, and makes for a seriously good hour of stand up.

Catch John Hastings ‘Marked From the Start, at 21.40 at Pleasance Courtyard Bunker One.

A 2015 EdFringe Interview with John Hastings

2 Jul

Written by Susan Ford

John Hastings knows how to make the most of the Edinburgh Festival; this year he prepares to do another hour long show, a podcast, and a presenter’s job at Late ‘n’ Live. John Hastings is absolutely fantastic, as you’ll know from his performance at Punchline’s second Comedy Gala in Edinburgh, and we strongly recommend catching him at this year’s Festival. As John mulls over a forgotten train ticket, I caught up with him to discuss this year’s Fringe.

john hastings

Hello John, how are you?
I am good. Forgot to book a train for something and now I have some excellent self loathing stuff going on.

Are you excited about performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year?
Very much so. I have a show which is 10 minutes longer than my time slot, so if anything, the people in attendance will get more than their money’s worth.

What have you been doing since last year’s Festival?
Mostly travelling for comedy. I have slept in my own house somewhere in the neighbourhood of 40 times this year, and it has been awesome! I have also forgotten to book many train tickets and honestly I cannot seem to let it go.

How many years have you performed in Edinburgh, and what does the Festival mean to you?
The festival was my first introduction to performance in the United Kingdom. I love it up there – the energy of the city is amazing, as well as the opportunity too, that many people using monuments as toilets is staggering.

Tell us about your new show for 2015 Marked from the Start?
It was supposed to be about a race I lost but, has morphed into a jaunty family tale about your favourite Canadian boy’s journey through the last year. I became a godfather. I will not bring up the train ticket that keeps popping up in this interview.

Tell us about ‘Anything Can Be a Podcast Podcast’.
It’s me in a tiny attic space jawing off the top of my numb skull for an hour. The room is small and hot and the comedy will be big and juicy.

What can the audience enjoy most about your show, and what’s the best reaction you’ve received from an Edinburgh audience?
Any reaction is good from that wall of hate audience up there. Basically it’s this, they have seen 11 shows that day and now they are seeing yours. They are tired, they have to pee and Bill did not buy the right amount of pints for everyone, and you are funny, but they are just happy to be inside.

john hastings 2

What is the best thing about the Edinburgh Fringe for you?
No train tickets!
Actually I would say it’s the feeling you get after a HORRIBLE show, you think about giving up and then you do a late show or 11 and you build yourself back up. It’s like show biz boot camp.

Will you be involved in any other shows this year?
Yeah, I am doing those two listed above as well as hosting Late ‘n’ Live twice a week!

What other acts do you recommend we catch at this year’s Fringe? Go see Dylan Gott, Chris Betts, Lazy Susan, Phil Wang and David Quirk (who is not coming to the festival but is still awesome).

Catch John Hastings Marked From the Start at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)​ 21:40 Aug 5-30.

Anything Can Be A Podcast Podcast is in Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (Venue 170) ​ 17:30 Aug 6-30.

John Hastings: An Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Interview

19 Jul

Words by Susan Fordjohn hastings

John Hastings performed at the third Punchline Gala with Pappy’s, David Trent and Charlie Baker: since then we’ve made sure to keep our eyes on him.  As the festival draws even closer, I was lucky to catch up with John to discuss both shows he is performing this year.

Hello John Hastings how are you?
I am super duper. I am sitting in my friend Paul’s flat eating rice and excited to chat with you cool cats.

Firstly, I just want to say that we love you: what are your emotions about Punchline?
Satisfaction because I know they go at the end of jokes. The company (you guys) I feel grateful because you are super excellent bookers who helped me play a big fuck off theatre one time.

This is not your first time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, are you excited about coming back?
Yes always. It’s like sitting exams for your dream job in a rainy city by a volcano. Also they have a lot of crepes AND all of your friends from all across the world are there to hang out and talk shop with. (by shop I mean talk about actual shops where the counter is situated etc.)

You are not just doing an hour of stand up; I believe you have a podcast show as well? Without giving too much away, can you tell us more about both your shows?
The first show is an hour of story telly stand up I wrote/lived about being in the UK the first 6 months. While the podcast is an improvised hour of stand up comedy/BS and anyone can help out by just sending anything at all to johnhastingspodcast@gmail.com

Will you be involved with any other shows as well?
I will be jumping up at all the usual package shows your Late ‘n’ Lives etc. I love the package shows up there because you can kind of play around and the pressure is off you, kinda just doing the job and are not tethered to just your specific set of material. AND I get a thrill out off looking back on each day and saying I talked about my farts in 11 different basements. AWESOME.

Last year you performed as part of the famous Comedy Reserve, how do you feel about going it along this year?
Nervous. It’s all on my broad but shockingly weak shoulders. I get to pick the intro music though so strap in for mostly Journey, people of the fringe.

How does a solo show compare to teaming up with other comedians?
It’s different because you gotta get yourself on/manage the room/close. It used to scare me but now I get the energy flow. People will be a little tight at the beginning and loosening throughout.

How have you been preparing for the Festival this year; have you been doing many previews and have they been going well?
I think it is in the mid to late twenties. Each one is bizarre because you are tweaking. Preparing for this festival is like betting on a unicorn race – nobody knows the rules.

What are the best bits about performing at the Edinburgh Fringe?
The energy of that town heaving with clowns and stories. Just walking down Cowgate seeing 10,000 people you know or want to know.

What have been your biggest highlights from the Festival and what do you hope will be your new highlights from 2014?
Biggest highlight was Late N Live last year when I got the whole crowd to help eject a heckler through the chanting of the classic C-Bomb and my grandparents sending the town Undertaker to the Comedy Reserve last year and he said in the show “oh boy did I need a laugh”

What other shows do you recommend this year?
Go see Brendon Burns’ show, This Is Your Trial and this scamp John Hastings doing two different shows in two different rooms. That guy is alright even though is head is dumbly large.

John Hastings’ solo show ‘Adventure‘ is on at 9.45pm at the Pleasance Courtyard, and his improvised podcast show ‘Anything Can Be a Podcast! Podcast!‘ is on at 5.15pm at the Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters.

Edinburgh Fringe Review: The Comedy Reserve

19 Aug

Words by Susan Fordcomedyreserve

The Comedy Reserve is currently in its 9th year, showcasing 4 great comedians that are topped to be big in the proceeding years.  Previous Reservers include Jack Whitehall, Holly Walsh, Joe Lycett, and Doc Brown, and this year there are some equally excellent fresh new faces for you to enjoy.  Hosting the evening is John Hastings, who made up one quarter of the last Punchline line-up earlier in the year.  He is joined at the Comedy Reserve by Tom Toal, Tez Ilyas and Jack Barry, a finely picked bunch of comedians who put on an outstanding show.

Canadian John Hastings is very quick as a compere, making so many great comedic call backs, not only to his own materiel, but also to the gags that the other acts have laid down in their sets.  On the exterior, John is a gentleman, polite and softly spoken, but on a deeper level he is feisty, and not afraid to go to the dark side of comedy to rouse belly laughter throughout the crowd.

Tez Ilyas deserves his place in the line up greatly so, because he really is a fresh bit of talent on the comedy circuit.  He has a tremendous stage presence, luring the audience in with a seemingly fragile aura, before smashing these initial preconceptions with outrageous punchlines. Tez conjures comedy out of the simplest scenarios, but it his unique way of delivery that draws you in: fingers crossed Tez will be back next year with another successful stand up show,

Tom Toal is one of my favourite comedians; his cheeky smile is teamed up with even cheekier material that is well-written and subsequently hilarious. T-Bone, Double-T, or T-T, tells jokes about his personal life and stories about dating and food that shouldn’t be as funny as Tom can make them. It is this ability that Tom has to see the funny in any situation, surreal or ordinary, that makes him such a good comedian and a superb part of the Comedy Reserve.

Completing the line up is Jack Barry, performing a great set of jokes to finish off the evening. Jack again is a great story teller, placing brilliant punchlines in amongst anecdotes from his life.  Jack has a soft, comforting voice, that lulls the audience in to each joke, before he suitably pulls something a bit more comically absurd out his bag.  Jack Barry’s performance fits in neatly with how the other comedians present their material,  making his set the shiney bow on the top of the wholly wonderful show that is The Comedy Reserve.

Because during the Comedy Reserve, the selected comedians only get 15 minutes to cram in their material, as an audience you get all the best bits of a  great live performance guaranteed. Please be sure to check out this show if you are at the festival this year, because John Hastings, Tez Ilyas, Tom Toal and Jack Barry are all names you will hear a lot more from soon. Tickets still available here, and on a side note, please check out my Punchine interview with Tom Toal.

%d bloggers like this: