Francesca Martinez: In Deep

Martinez is a thoroughly engaging performer, with a warm and effusive personality that drives the set forward

Review by Tom Hackett | 06 Aug 2007

In 2000, Francesca Martinez launced her hugely successful stand-up career with a show taking on the challenges of life with cerebral palsy and spitting them back at the audience. After a two-year break to recover from fatigue, Martinez is back with a show that casts the comic net wider, taking in her views about politics, media and religion, as well as some more personal issues.

Martinez is a thoroughly engaging performer with a warm and effusive personality that drives the set forward. After some gentle audience interaction she moves swiftly on to politics, praising the US for having such a progressive attitude towards disability that “there's even a mental in the White House.” Some of the building blocks of her political satire – George Bush is stupid, Dick Cheney is crap with a shotgun – are a little hackneyed, but in mixing them playfully with her ideas on disability, she produces some surprising and witty results.

The material on religion and corporate culture is similarly inventive, culminating in a delightful sketch in which Jesus is imagined as a contender on The Apprentice (“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle...” – “I don't like bullshitters, Jesus!”). It's refreshing to see a comedian tackle serious points with such conviction, and still ring a good few belly laughs.