Mark Watson at Birmingham Town Hall.
This review is totally clouded by the fact that Mark Watson started his set in the audience, part of which was next to this particular member of the audience. Me! (and, of course, Pigeon, my comedy going companion) How exciting! It's not often (indeed, not yet in my experience) that the comedian performs his comedy standing next to you. I also have a huge admiration for anyone that chooses to perform without that modern crutch, the microphone. Decent projection is all the more impressive these days as folk seem to have forgotten that humans have the ability to be heard over distance without shouting.
Karma is loving me at the moment which is apt given the subject of Watson's show, De stressing. The crux of the advice I've had recently is to live my own life, follow my own dreams and develop a sense of perspective. Watson's comedy revelations amounted to roughly the same. Life, other people and ourselves are funny. Does what happens now really matter in the greater scheme of things? No. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Something I had the great pleasure of doing last night. Except I got neck ache, but by the by.
As for Watson? Friendly, story teller, amusing hecklers (rather participants, who'd heckle such a nice man?) Entirely wonderful flights of fancy. I love ad lib and comedians that at least make it look like they're making it up as they go along. Watson has a real talent for this. Venue? Beautiful, airy, favourite yet but reminded me of a church hall/ church? I saw/ heard the 'Bach Double' performed at in Leamington replete with whacking great organ at the back. A lot like a Methodist church. Entirely appropriate for the thoughtful, suitably awestruck Watson but not, I feel, the right venue for bluer comediens such as Frankie Boyle or any music other than sedate tea dances or gentle jazz. The Midlands is lucky to have such a performance space, (apologies Warwick Arts Centre, but it's being done up) and the variety of other choices (NIA, NEC, Symphony Hall etc) to ensure that artists are deployed in venues that bring out their best. Watson is one such example. Well done!