There is a very fine music hall tradition centring around the Industrial Revolution towns in Northern England dating back a couple of hundred years that spurned a whole division of rather unique and quirky stage acts which have baffled many but those who got ‘it’ religiously enjoy it. John Shuttleworth firmly fits into that genre. Delivery with his jowly Sheffield accent, for me and the other 40 and 50 somethings in the audience John seems to deliver us back to growing up in northern England in the 1970’s, he seems able to evoke some deep lying childhood memories. I think because my grandma would enjoy John Shuttleworth and his gentle very northern English ways I believe that’s why I maintain a soft spot for him. It’s like listening to old family members and friends of my parents talking to me, spouting off about irrelevancies which dredge up memories of fond days growing up in such a northern industrial town. Indeed, just the name checks he produces belong to a bygone area I haven’t thought about for years: Vince Hill, Pebble Mill, Racey, Musical Youth, and many more.
How to categorise John? He’s like a cross between Frank Sidebottom and Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, the old music-hall narrator with some spiffing tunes delivered on his Bontempi keyboard. The theme was, bizarrely, loving polo mints and that was the running narrative throughout. In-between discussing the mints we had some cheery songs, for example, if out for a curry with friends don’t discuss the naan, why not call your nan, before it’s too late. If you don’t know what a nan is then this probably isn’t the show for you! But if you want a very gentle lovingly delivered comedy that will whisk you back to a bygone age and you can relate to all of this review then I say John Shuttleworth is definitely for you!
John Shuttleworth at the Edinburgh Fringe: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/john-shuttleworth-my-last-will-and-tasty-mint
Steve Heald – Writing is my passion, contact me on steve_j_heald if you would like me to write for you.