Mark Watson should be selling out shows in Sydney.
Where the hell were all of you?? Even to a half capacity crowd in the York Theatre, Watson definitely didn’t disappoint. In fact, as is common in smaller crowds, the more intimate setting allowed for a more personal and enjoyable experience. Especially if he chases you.
This is the 1st time I’ve seen Mark do a full show, last time I was in Melbourne he had unfortunately (for me) sold out his run. So my only experience of him was from brief spots @ the Hifi in the early hours of the morning, tv and You Tube excerpts and his hilarious radio program. So i wasn’t sure what to expect. Especially when he came out before the show, sat at a table with a laptop and started typing away with a projector behind him. I thought ‘ahh, it will be a Dave Gorman type show with a presentation’. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Mark Watson performance has the ambience of listening to a mate at the pub tell a funny story to a small (ok 200) group of friends. He has a very affable approach and a very laid back style, but don’t let that fool you. His jokes are very clever, well written and rehearsed. A true professional. However he does allow variations in his routine depending on his mood, hence the more ‘casual chat’ feel to his material. This evening involved guessing which state of the US a member of the audience came from to illustrate to us Aussies how one of his heroes (a John Edwards type psychic) operates. Most comedians couldn’t pull that off. But Watson had punters leaning forward in their chairs as he was rattling off names and a big cheer erupted when a member of the audience guessed right, stealing his glory (Still not sure whether the cheer was for the punter getting it right, Mark saying it a split second after the punter, or cheering the fact that he know all 50 states).
Commenting on being a man and a (fairly new) dad had smirks and giggles around the crowd as he certainly hit the nail on the head with the topic. His self-deprecating style certainly resonated with the audience in his own misfortunes and inadequacies as there were a lot of self-knowing nods around the crowd (myself included) as he spoke of his life. There is a serious side to his comedy, his aim in life does seem to be to make this world a better place (those in the know of his famous 24 hour show and radio series would agree) and he gives advice from his own experiences on how to do so. A bit left of field, but the ideas certainly work.
Honestly, Mark Watson could run commentary on washing drying and it would still be riveting and hilarious. His up-beat, energetic style has that effect on yoU.
And I have to admit, the kangaroo gag. Best. Gag. Ever. Though you really had to be there.
And Liam Nolan better watch his back. There’s another 200 odd people out there who know who you are.