5***** Review 16th August From One4Review

Honourable Tom Houghton tackles the sometimes difficult 'second' show with rich aplomb.

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4 **** Metro review 13th August

THERE’S not much honourable about Tom Houghton. He only got a 2:2 in his drama degree, he tried to run away from home as a kid and he’s been arrested three times.

Which is all a bit awkward when your dad - Baron Houghton of Richmond, the former Chief of the Defence Staff of the British Armed Forces and now Constable Of The Tower Of London, where Tom, ludicrously, resides — is now a lord, and you’ve just been given an honorific by default. ‘I failed history,’ he says. ‘Now I live in it.’

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The Sunday Times Review 12th August 2018

Class and privilege are filtering into many a show, with unexpected results. Tom Houghton (Pleasance Dome, 8.10pm ★★★★) couldn’t be more privileged. His father is General Sir Nicholas Houghton, former chief of the defence staff, currently constable of the Tower of London. Tom pulls that to pieces with relish, mocking his dad playing Laser Quest, private schools and living in the Tower, with such self-deprecation that it’s oddly relatable.hat's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

The Week Review 11th August 2018 4 Stars ****

The Tower of London has over two million visitors per year – despite this, almost no-one in the present day can claim to have lived in it. Tom Houghton is one of these lucky few aristocrats whose flatmates include Anne Boleyn’s ghost and at least six ravens. However, as he is quick to point out, Houghton is not there on his own merit – instead, his odd accommodation is due to his father, Baron Houghton of Richmond, a man who never cries and is so unused to driving himself to places that he gets in the backseat of a car automatically.

Houghton is taking a gamble, here; listening to someone talk about their incredibly privileged lifestyle and incredibly rich family for an hour can definitely begin to grate if the talker isn’t prepared to poke a bit of fun at themselves too. Luckily for us, he is more than willing to do this, and immediately launches into a description of the three kinds of rich person he’s met thus far (boring, social climbers, and alcoholics) which has the audience in stitches. From there, it’s plain sailing (or perhaps plain skiing, depending on the kind of rich person you’ve encountered). 

 He insists that most of his anecdotes aren’t relatable, but a lot of them are when viewed through a different lens. Everyone knows the feeling of starting at a new school, even if that school is actually the House of Lords and the new pupil in question is your dad. Houghton guides us through all manner of topics – his friends, his gothic/demonic sister, the three times he was arrested – with complete ease, gradually segueing into more serious material before ending the show by relaying a very sweet exchange between his parents that encapsulates his family in all its absurdity. And although Houghton may not be the most honourable of men, he’s definitely one of the most hilariously self-aware.

The Honourable is not just a playful show name: ever since Tom Houghton's father became a lord, it is in fact the stand-up's official title. Houghton lives in the actual Tower of London and was labelled last year as 'the next Jack Whitehall'; this is most definitely upper-class comedy. But even though he inhabits a world where horses and Land Rovers are just regular possessions, his material remains relatable as it revolves around family.

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Gyles Brandreth - Pick of the Fringe 5 *****

I’m no critic, but I know what I like and of the shows I’ve seen so far this Edinburgh Fringe these are the five I’ve liked best:

TOM HOUGHTON – the show’s called ‘The Honourable’ and it’s a skilful hour of posh-boy stand-up delivered with great charm, energy and theatricality by the son of the former Chief of the Defence Staff who is now Constable of the Tower of London . . .  Tom exploits his family background to hilarious (and touching) effect.  It’s brilliant, bravura stuff and, having met his dad and having had a son and a son-in-law who were both in the army, I was held from start to finish, hugely impressed, vastly amused and generally bowled over.  5 stars at the Jack Dome in the Pleasance Dome. 

The Telegraph

I may be the poshest comedian on the circuit, but you won't catch me joking about it.

As the poshest comic on the circuit, I spend my time travelling every inch of our green and pleasant land, telling jokes to the great unwashed as they stare gormlessly back, handfuls of scampi falling out of open mouths.

They’re probably wondering how, in a spectacular feat of corporate miss-booking, a man who lives in the Tower of London – and due to his father’s Lordship has just been made “the Honourable” – could possibly have found himself in a beery comedy club at Wolverhampton football ground, sweating through his Ralph Laurens and babbling something mildly coherent about his mother leaving vegetables in the Aga. They might as well be muttering, “What could this silver-spooned posho possibly have to say to me?”

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Voice Mag ****

A funny, emotional and totally unrelatable show by a charming - and completely fascinating - comedian.

Tom Houghton’s life isn’t one most people have much in common with, but he proves that you don't have to relate in order to enjoy his incredible tales about living in the Tower of London, the three times he was arrested, or accompanying his father to the House of Lords for his induction into it (his father’s induction, not his!).

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Review No 2 From Edinburgh Fringe

The focus of Tom’s show is almost exclusively about his privileged childhood and growing up in the shadow of his father, the former chief of the defence staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton. He’s a musical loving comedian with a pa-PAH that used to be the head of the British military. It’s perfect sitcom material and if there isn’t one on the horizon, I will eat my knickers. The posh-o anecdotes are brilliantly told but Tom goes beyond this, layering his material with a surprising amount of pathos and humility.

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Chortle 2018 ****

The most nuanced Dulux colour chart would struggle to convey the blinding shade of white privilege.

Houghton the heels of last year’s debut, Tom’s second solo effort proves fittingly honourable. 

Having recently inherited the titular prefix when his father joined the House of Lords, Houghton’s ascent to aristocracy is the unique premise to a similarly distinct hour of stand-up. 

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Has Jack Whitehall met his posh-boy comic match? - The Telegraph

Smartly polished stories of hopeless attempts to impress the ladies, two accidental liaisons with transsexuals and an elaborately cringe-making send-off while stationed in Germany, which saw him running amok in a Chinese restaurant while fancy-dressed as a duck, and you perhaps have the long-awaited male answer to Bridget Jones made flesh.

Enough to make his high-flying father proud? Who knows but, in my book, this unexpected tour de force warrants a 21-gun salute. 

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Likeably laddish - The Daily Mail

Tom Houghton grew up in a posh bubble. His dad is the former head of the Armed Forces. Houghton Jr makes the most of his privileged life growing up in Northern Ireland with bodyguards, before going to boarding school (at six) and later living in the Tower of London.

Things degenerate into locker room banter, with the tale of an encounter with a transgender sex worker in Amsterdam. But Houghton clearly relishes being the butt of his own jokes, playing a crafty idiot. 

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Clever, passionate and soulful - The New European

This is both clever, passionate and soulful. Tom knows that as the poshest person any of us have ever been in a room with (he lives in the Tower of London. No, he really does!) he has to breakdown a lot of potential unrelatable posh boy resentment. He achieves this with charm, energy and self-deprecation.

 

It is a show densely packed with material as he takes us through moments of self-discovery towards a greater understanding of self and life. He’s been playing to capacity crowds all month, albeit in a small room, and from what I witnessed, this is because has a broad appeal.

 

Although a performer for some time, he’s only a year into his stand up career and it is patently obvious he’s really put a lot of work in to get his chops this good so quickly. He’s certainly a man we’re going to be seeing a lot more of in the near future.

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5***** - One4Review

I had seen Tom Houghton a few times in his previous role as part of the Noise Next Door so knew the guy had a fair bit of talent but stand-up is another thing. Could he cut it?
Could he? He smashed it. It has been a long time since I have seen such a complete performance, especially from someone doing his first solo hour. It has it all. For a Posh boy, he actually lives in the Tower of London, he is singularly grounded, he has stage presence and charisma by the bucket load

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'Class Half Empty' Review - Fringe Guru

Houghton's stagecraft is a credit to his many years of experience in acclaimed improv group The Noise Next Door. He has an eagerness to please, and an ease on stage that elicits an absolute confidence in him, whilst staying happily short of arrogance. His energy is high and his audience connection constant, even when pushing his nice-guy persona limits with material that can go to the juvenilely graphic.

Houghton offers a new perspective - one that isn't usually voiced. As he notes, most people tend to disavow any accusations of poshness, but by embracing his background he's made himself one of us. He's funny, relaxed, and enjoyably unassuming; you'd happily go for a pint with him, for this funny posh man has put us all utterly at ease. Now that's class.

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