Rather than delivering a standard stand-up routine, in 360, Hughes delivers his comedy in story form. It was refreshing to have a comedian who has clearly put considerable effort in behind-the-scenes. He was able to be very funny while at the same time providing a contained and meaningful narrative, rather than relying on a slew of quick-fire gags loosely held together by tenuous segues (as so many other comedians do). Hughes took the time to develop his characters, which meant that the audience had enough background to imbue the scenes the same warmth and humanity as a funny story told about a friend. It is this concentration on story and characters that made Hughes’ show stand out from the comedy crowd, and for me this would be the draw to see him rather than any other ‘up-and-coming’ comedian.
Hughes’ comfort on stage also sometimes came out in the form of improvised audience participation, which was facilitated by the house lights being left on throughout the show. This was okay to a point, but audience participation is always a mixed bag and must tread a difficult line between the funny and the embarrassing. Though taking the time to befriend the crowd before launching into his show proper added to the sense of being told a funny story amongst friends, returning to the same characters in the audience didn't always work (and I'm honestly not saying this just because I was one of the characters returned to).
All that said, Hugh Hughes’ 360 was a funny, vivid and compelling piece of stand up, and shows that good comedy does not have to come at the expense of good story telling. Definitely one to watch out for.