Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Andrew Watts – How to Build a Chap, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson.
Building on his brilliantly idiosyncratic dating material, all meticulous analysis and cricket analogies, Andrew Watts’ recent entry into fatherhood has produced no little anxiety and this warmly entertaining hour.
As the stay-at-home parent for his son, most of Watts’ thinking over the last 18 months has been channelled into devouring books on raising babies, harrumphing at Mumsnet forums and just generally striving not to mess up his little boy. Related with an often breathlessly pacey delivery, he aligns you with his joy and paranoia and keeps his routines accessible to non-parents, mostly by comparing and contrasting his new responsibilities to his former single life. Arguably, the retrospective material comprises too much of the show but he brings the same amusingly detailed scrutiny to both eras and the comparison is surprisingly illuminating. A performer once heckled as “niche!”, Watts seems increasingly comfortable in his own skin and capably affords his account the emotional tug it deserves without descending into mawkishness, even after extending the scope of the hour to his relationship with his own father.
Crucially, he doesn’t rely on the anecdotal, punctuating the stories with some cracking, frequently off-kilter gags, making his take on a common life experience relatable but unique.
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (Venue 170) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 19 August 2015
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