Cardiff-born comedian Robin Morgan is trying to be the best father and the best son that he can be. In a world where the expectations we place on men are starting to change, Morgan looks back on how his own life experiences might shape his son’s future.
Toxic masculinity is one of the hot-button topics at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, so it’s no surprise that Morgan tackles the subject too. However, what is pleasantly surprising about What A Man… is that he doesn’t spend an hour damning toxic masculinity, nor does he try to theorise solutions for it. Instead, Morgan takes a slightly different tact of celebrating moments of manhood, which just happen to defy the masculine ideology. At the forefront of that is his relationship with his father and his best friend. He talks of them both with reverence and tenderness and, in the case of the former, there is real empathy for the complex emotions they share with one another.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that there’s more heart than humour, though. While What A Man… certainly relies on sentimentality the jokes still land, and land often. Morgan is a really assured presence on stage, delivering pithy, hilarious lines that never sound rehearsed. It really does feel like talking to a friend at the pub, and Morgan plays up to that with some well-timed audience interaction.
The most sentimental moment comes at the very end of Morgan’s set, and it’s a genuinely moving one. It’s a lovely end to what is a really enjoyable hour of comedy by a very talented performer.