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Mark Dolan: Sharing Too Much

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Marissa Burgess

There are a few moments during his show where some audience members seem to consider Dolan to have ‘shared too much’. They are usually indicated by a sharp intake of breath closely followed by that telltale naughty chuckle indicating that they're shocked, but found it funny all the same.

To be fair there are some particularly disturbing images here, conjured up with a cheeky smirk, but the one that will probably endure in the memory is of his mother wrapped in Woollies gaffer tape, pleasuring herself with a Wayne Rooney calendar as inspiration.

You'd imagine that anyone in the room that remembered Dolan as the presenter of Channel 4's Balls of Steel - the show where performers competed against each other to act the weirdest or most provocative in front of unsuspecting members of the public – would be prepared for such gleeful filth. Maybe it's down to the teatime slot, and therefore the lack of alcohol in their system.

It's also a pleasing incongruity that how Dolan looks and what comes out of his mouth are so disparate. He issues forth with these joyfully naughty gags dressed impeccably and respectably in white blazer, striped shirt and tidy jeans. Ever the genteel, middle class southerner.

Perhaps realising that this vision of Englishness could easily alienate what turned out to be a surprisingly Scottish-heavy audience he sips from a mug with the Saltire on it and tests the room with some throwaway gags about Scottish stereotypes featuring rainy weather and heroin.

But the big disappointment here is that aside from the close to the bone material, the set that surrounds is obvious and pedestrian. There are routines about the lack of a sex life with his wife, Argos being like a safe betting shop and feeling emasculated by the builders in his house. Dolan certainly leans towards the more familiar joke.

Though he's not consistently innovative he is consistently measured in his delivery. But the punchier elements of his set are the more provocative ones, wanking over royalty and a great gag about going out with a girl who sports a virginity pledge ring.

Frankly more filth is required.

Review date: 17 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Marissa Burgess

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