Daniel Muggleton’s dry approach to identity politics, and expectations from modern life came as a surprise, one keen to make audience members squirm. Muggleton has previously found success as a stand up, and this new show “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy (But I Reckon It’s Easier For Straight, White Men?)” is a refinement of what made him rise in popularity over the last few years.
He has never been afraid to combine his astute views of everyday life with far darker content, but where previous shows saw Muggleton on the back foot defensively launching potshots. Here his challenges of social norms, and what it means to be “woke” are stemming from his own insecurities, and the heightened expectations of the modern world.
Certain segments including an unfortunately lengthy section regarding spotting terrorists on public transport do give way under their lofty setup and minimal payoff. But when relaxed and working more ad lib, there is a real talent on show. He feels suited to the intimate fringe venue, keen to establish a connection to his viewers before challenging their core values, like a friend insistent on playing devil’s advocate at every turn.
How we approach intimacy is a running theme of Pimpin’, breaching topics of situational friendships, questionable relationship advice, and why we feel so satisfied judging strangers with impeccable ease. If Muggleton wasn’t so likeable the show would be a drag, but his affable and welcoming performing style draw you down to his level and into his curious world. It’s not perfect, but it’s a massive step forward for Muggleton, and could well serve as his definitive step towards bigger things.