Mark Watson - SkinnyFest 2

Article by Laura Esslemont | 14 Aug 2006
Fast-talking Welsh boy Mark Watson won over audiences with his debut show last year, and expresses concern that this year will be as disappointing as an average sequel - "Big Momma's House 2, anyone?" This is typical of Watson's self-deprecating style, and is also totally unfounded.

Scuffling energetically around the stage, Watson tumbles through his routine, bashfully looking at the floor before peering up at the audience to deliver killer punchline after killer punchline. His show is loosely structured around the Seven Deadly Sins, and the audience are cheerfully roped into pulling props representing said Sins out of a massive fluffy sack (the Sack of Sin). Each object triggers a story: handcuffs represent Lust, an eye-mask, Sloth, and, obviously, a poster of Mick Hucknall embodies Anger.

The real joy of the show comes not from the stories themselves, but when Watson freewheels off into unpredictable directions, sparked by unplanned events - a late start, a bizarre heckle, his own parched throat. The tone of his on-the-spot improvisation skills is both admirable and beguiling. It is testement to Watson's likeable qualities that, forty minutes in, one lady quietly exits, crosses the Pleasance Courtyard, and brings the comedian the pint of water he has mentioned wanting. How she managed to drag herself away from this charming show remains a mystery.
Mark Watson: I'm Worried that I'm Starting to Hate Almost Everyone in the World, Pleasance Couryard, Until August 28, 21:45, £10.50/£9 (£9.50/£8).