Comedy review: I, Tom Mayhew, Just The Tonic @ The Mash House, Edinburgh

Tom Mayhew's set is political, personal, and very powerful.
Tom Mayhew's set is political, personal, and very powerful.
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Comedy is, nowadays, a broad church.

I, Tom Mayhew, Just The Tonic @ The Mash House, Edinburgh * * * *

And although, generally speaking, the more you laugh the higher the star count, there is always an exception that proves the rule. And so Tom Mayhew gets four stars. We definitely laughed about Job Centre Plus and the whole misnomer that is ‘benefits’ and about Tom’s inability to manage proper football banter.

The hour is studded with delightful little one liners. His working class credentials are unimpeachable – he grew up poor, in a devoutly Christian household, his dad drove trucks, his mum works in Boots – and when he gets stuck into the stigmatisation of the working class and the sweeping judgments that are made about the poor he lights up the whole room.

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Tom Mayhew is the quietest, most self-effacing, most diffident of comics and to see him click it up several gears and give it some serious emotional wellie is a wonderful thing. His Dad is his hero and gets to headline Tom’s set. It is genuine, powerful, political stuff, this. These are four stars for a voice that should be heard more. Four stars for comedy shining a light on some grim, unjust places. And four stars for Tom Mayhew’s Dad, who sounds awesome.

Until 25 August.

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