Mark Olver: Dancing About Architecture

Review by Bernard O'Leary | 05 Aug 2012
  • Mark Olver

Olver is the go-to guy when you need a strong MC or warmup man, and in this show he is again appearing in a supporting role to other comedians. This time though, he's the boss as he guides the panel through a funny and illuminating conversation about the art and business of comedy.

The obvious comparison is Stuart Goldsmith's Comedian's Comedian podcast, but there are a few signifigant distinctions. Having four comedians on the panel means it's not got the intimacy of Goldsmith's discussions, but today's guests - Russell Howard off the telly, the boys from Jigsaw and Catie Wilkins - bounce off each other nicely, asking each other follow-up questions and competing to get a laugh at the end of every answer.

It works really well. Olver has carefully constructed the questions to get the most out of his guests and a lot of ground gets covered, including Dan Antopolski explaining how he financed his first year as an open spot and Russell Howard discussing both arena comedy and the Boys-In-T-Shirts phenomenon (his explanation for t-shirts: "it's hot").

Educational, entertaining, intimate and expertly marshalled by Olver, this is highly recommended for comedy fans and essential viewing for aspiring comics.

Mark Olver: Dancing About Architecture, Just The Tonic, until 12 August, 12:00, £6