It’s simple maths; just as Edinburgh’s population nearly triples during the festival, so too does it’s tally of douchebags. The arts attract liberal minds and radical free-thinkers by the bucketload, but they’re also a magnet for self-important smugness and pretentious posers. With his comedy creation Cayden Hunter, Jon Pointing brilliantly skewers the egoists and assholes among us for a second year running.
Ostensibly a workshop in which the almighty Hunter will impart his abilities and experience to the crowd, it soon becomes clear that the man will reveal more than he’d like to over the course of the hour. Pointing is impeccable in the role; he couldn’t be any more Zapp Brannigan if he’d waltzed into the Pleasance with no trousers on. From a flipchart filled with philosophical mumbo jumbo to the ickily sleazy rapport with a front-row female, Pointing has his Cayden down to a tee.
The set pieces are slick and intelligently written, whether it be an ode to a deer that he killed with his car or a performance piece charting the birth of his acting career. However, it’s the moments which reveal Pointing’s fragility and failures which work best; in particular, the segment involving a missive from npower and the use of Roy Orbison’s The Actress in its entirety are particularly effective at painting Hunter as the Fringe equivalent of David Brent.
Before we feel too sorry for the so-called acting odyssey, however, he’ll remind us just how big a wanker he is with yet another airy-fairy cliché or self-indulgent statement. It’s pitched perfectly and though it might be an unoriginal idea in a sea of others clamouring for attention, you’ll be hard pushed to find another show at the Fringe which so superbly captures and lampoons its essence at the same time.