Mat & Faron
Men In Coats
Men With Bananas
Michael J Dolan
Michelle De Swarte
Mo The Comedian
Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer
Marek Larwood: Fringe 2012
As a part of seminal Edinburgh sketch group We Are Klang - indeed in almost everything he's ever done - Marek Larwood has been the fall guy; the unfortunate dim-witted gimp suffering all manner of humiliating indignities for the sake of a laugh.
Well, now he stands up for himself and proves he doesn't need anyone else: he's more than capable of looking a dick entirely on his own. Of course all this comes in the name of trying to retain his dignity – the plight of every slapstick victim.
Disturbed by an incident of self-googling which revealed the most common search term involving his name was 'Marek Larwood retarded', he sets out to prove his acting versatility so that he may never again fall victim to the horrific disease of typecast.
So the stage is set for various showcases, each demonstrating a string to his bow; whether it be his vast repertoire of accents, an emotional range; his ability to think on his feet in a panel show environment; or his skill in creating a 'Michael McIntosh' friendly stand-up set. All of wish he naturally excels at. In his own mind.
For the first time he gets his own put-upon sidekick, in the form of a dour Sophie Black, although it's not long before she cracks and seeks her humiliating comeuppance.
Larwood's commitment to looking ridiculous the name of comedy cannot be overstated; and he creates some memorably ridiculous moments here as his decorum flushes down the U-bend.
The climax is a gloriously wrong as you might expect; although his tackily home-made Steven Segal ‘instant face actor’ doesn’t quite deliver the laughs until he gets some unfortunate in the audience to help him with his balls…
It’s not all broad physical comedy, although that’s Larwood’s forte. His stand-up routine, proudly free of material, is a nice satire on the blandness infecting some areas of the circuit – while his increasing frustrations at his inability to improvise in the mock panel shows the comic power of anger.
Rigidity isn't his friend, though, and the format often seems to hold him back a bit. We'd love to see him properly off the leash, but the dilemma is that to best demonstrate his oddness he also needs some form of order - or preferably authority, which is absent here.
Still, it’s an entertaining slice of early-evening bonkers.
|Date of live review: Thursday 9th Aug, '12|
Review by Steve Bennett
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2004 -
Show - Film - Sunday 20th May, '07-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Friday 20th Jun, '03-
Larwood is the antidote to the swarm of Russells, Jacks, Zanes and Kanes clogging UK comedy's stand-up-franchise culture. His influences seem to range from Andy Kaufman to the original Comic Strip players and his brand of original, intelligent slapstick is just one example of his devotion to the comic art without an eye to becoming a brand himself.
Disgusting but pure brilliance
I saw Marek earlier this year with what I think must have been the new "special character" referred to below, Brian, who with the help of the audience is making a film as part of the therapy he is receiving. Brian is shortly revealed as a sex offender, and as Marek is so believable it makes for some uncomfortable and challenging moments. Overall, however, this was an absolute triumph, and I was left helpless with laughter, as the whole scenario just built and built, with hapless members of the audience being cajoled into helping out this at times somewhat scary character.
Brilliantly funny. Some people have more funny bones than others. He is one of them.
Saw Marek do his new 'special' character a couple of weeks ago and it is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I was almost crying laughing. Not sure how he gets any unfavourable reviews as I have seen him a number of times doing his stand up, compering, doing his American character, performing with The Klang and now his new character and each time he has been unstoppable. Looking forward to seeing even more of him.
I've seen him twice - same set - by coincidence and I just don't see how anything he says can be funny. I'm happy to laugh at any of the topics he covers but just not in the way he does them. I don't see how it's funny to joke with his silly one-liners about being a victim of sexual abuse. Make political jokes about paedophilia by all means, but joke about what your father, etc, 'did to you' as a child - not funny. Just awful. He really makes me cringe. One to avoid.
Terrible jokes and terrible delivery. He emptied more seats in the Liverpool Union last night than a free bar would have done. appalingly weak.
A powerhouse of manic energy who delivers a machine gun spurt of bad taste all over your neck and face. You love it really though, don't you? I do.
We Are Klang
Edinburgh Fringe 2005
We Are Klang: Yee-Haa Klang
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
We Are Klang: Klangbang
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
We Are Klang: DickParty - A Retrospective
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Marek Larwood: Typecast