Marcus Birdman - Happily Ever After @ Stand 2

Review by Tony Makos | 20 Aug 2013

Last year, Marcus Birdman came to the Fringe with a show about his recent stroke. This year, worried about putting together a show with a similarly meaty subject matter, his 14-year long term relationship ended and as a result we have Happily Ever After, a bitter, angry diatribe against the follies of love.

Only it isn’t. Birdman is an affable, optimistic chap, with a slightly left-field way of looking at life that helps flavour his material with a unique take on the ups and downs of relationships. Any real sourness he feels at the end of this life-changing split appears to have been put into the enormous and detailed self-painted artwork that adorns the back of the venue, and instead he engages the audience with rhetorical debates about why we stick together with those we’re sure we love, through to how having children affects everything. The best moment of the night, in fact, is a cracking twist on a very old father/daughter joke you’ll think you’re familiar with.

The material sometimes isn’t as hard-hitting as you’d like it to be, but even when the audience’s attention wanders as Birdman muses over a topic for a little too long, they’re brought back down to earth with a solid one-liner or off-kilter observation, reinforcing the fact you’re in the presence of a thoughtful, witty comedian with a forward-thinking attitude.

Marcus Birdman - Happily Ever After, Stand 2, until 26 Aug (not 12), £8/£7, 21:30