Chris Washington: You Beauty!

There is a lot to like about Washington’s sophomore show to last year’s Fringe debut Dream Big (Within Reason), which earned him a nomination for Best Newcomer. This itself brings an expectation upon somebody who potentially might still be exposing their flaws caused by inexperience, however, the former Postman manages to deliver a pleasing performance…

You Beauty! is a show with a positive outcome for all and may perhaps be a bit cliche, but from where Washington has come from to the present day in regards to his career as a professional Comedian, it is a story worth hearing. The narrative concentrates on the months following the accolade at last year’s Fringe and its fruitful impact, but also, the disconcerting period he had almost immediately upon his return home to his full-time job, faced with the challenge to try and carry on as normal after the three-week stint in Edinburgh that was anything but…

Washington delves into the working class mentality and provides a variety of anecdotes with varying levels of emotion attached. It is a show that is rich with Northern humour and is well-grounded, but there is also a sweetness about You Beauty! that is endearing. The issue that merits attention though is that it is all a bit too heavy on the traditional stereotypes of the British classes and as a result, the jokes can be predictable. The material also appeared to weaken toward the end as he discussed his living situation with his partner with ordinary gags on a subject that is well-covered in comedy, which provided a sense that the show more or less winded down rather than with a grand finale finish.

With this being stated, You Beauty! is very entertaining and Washington is a natural at telling a yarn. His down-to-earth style is totally gripping and when one can relate to the stories of the working class, it is very difficult not to find this funny. As sequels go, Washington may not have smashed it out of the park but he has certainly given it a fair whack.

★★★★

Graham Millar

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