John Hastings: Integrity

Unbelievably clever, deftly executed and outrageously funny, John Hasting returns once again to the Fringe with his new show Integrity. In a faultless performance Hasting’s guides us through one day of his five weeks of purgatory back home in Canada awaiting for his renewed British visa while simultaneously battling with a blonde woman in the audience who had the temerity to go to the loo half-way through the show.

If you have plans tonight - cancel them, this show is a must see.

John Hasting loves the UK, he loves the British spirit, he loves our moving-right-along attitude. So once a year, in order to retain the right to work in the country he loves, he returns to Canada to stay with his mum and visit his old school friends. Hilarity, of course, ensues. From a murder in the family, to an untimely text from an ex-girlfriend, to a boys-night-out gone awry, Hastings handles the extraordinary, the mundane and the taboo all with extreme grace and comedy. Every move, every word is precise, tidy and clean. Every phrase leads somewhere, although you might not know it at the time.

There isn’t a thing to fault in this performance. If you like to laugh and you like Canadian accents you’re in for a gold-standard evening. Hastings comedy is like watching an amazing juggler. He has half a dozen balls in the air and you’re marvelling as lightly he taps each one up, how seamlessly they all weave together in mid-air. Then out of nowhere he conjures a basketball and dunks it into the net. You left slightly agog at how he set that up. One joke will come with a treasure trove of little punchlines before the biggie blows you right out of your seat. I’m sure this show is rehearsed to a word-perfect standard, but it seems like you’re having an intimate chit-chat. He has an genial charm that is almost impossible to fake. His improvisation, when words are fumbled or the tech faults, is incredible, his audience interaction is outstanding. I find it truly amazing he is still playing small venues, this man needs to be given an arena - although maybe then some of the magic would be lost.

If you have plans tonight - cancel them, this show is a must see. John Hastings might be a disappointment to the UK immigration office, but he won’t disappoint you. 

Reviews by Millie Bayswater

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The Blurb

John's visa is expiring, his friends are fighting and there's been a murder (yes, an actual murder). This deft show about one disastrous day is a compelling piece of comedy storytelling. As seen on BBC Three's Seann Walsh's Late Night Comedy Spectacular. 'This fast-growing comic is a pleasure to watch' **** (Times). 'Hastings' bold dramatic delivery is what really stands out when he is hammering a point home' ***** (Mirror). 'Well crafted' **** (Herald). 'This charming, lovable comic is truly engaging and well worth checking out' **** (Three Weeks). **** (Herald). **** (Fest).

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