Affable and measures Nathan Caton brings his steady set The Pursuit of Happiness to the intimate Soho Theatre Upstairs space. Running at just over an hour, Caton’s set glows with a humble warmth. He starts the show well with gentle, well received audience improv. Not one to push too far, Caton eases into his more risqué material with zeal. The audience are always on his side- and who couldn’t love a guy who, as he says, puts the ‘hug’ in ‘thug’?
With his feet firmly on the property ladder, Nathan Caton has moved on from his still-living-with-mum jokes to quips about estate agents, neighbourhood watch teams and the reality of living on your own. The happiness he thought he’d find when he flew the nest couldn’t be further from the truth.
Storytelling is what Caton does best, from cardigans to Calippos his audience relish in his often laddish humour. There are a number of big chuckles, especially when his rapport with the audience derails him off script. But there is a noticeable dip three quarters of the way through. His political material comes across as deflated, almost unimaginative, throwing the set off kilter. Hackneyed gags and predictable political statements provide nothing more than muffled titters for the audience.
Caton’s impartiality throughout The Pursuit of Happiness means a lot of the set lacks bite. There are moments when anecdotes have a sense of manufactured fabrication to bag a laugh out of an otherwise mundane situation.
But it’s Caton’s relaxed, care free manner which really brings the charm to this show. As a recognisable face on the comedy circuit, Caton has an appeal that will take him far. 4/5
Review written by Niall Hunt.
Nathan Caton’s The Pursuit of Happiness is currently showing at Soho Theatre until Saturday 28th October 2017. To find out more about the show, visit here…