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Martin Mor: The Call of the Golden Frog

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Steve Bennett

Banter doesn’t get much better than this. Martin Mor has an ease with the audience only 25 years of performing can bring, constantly dipping in and out of the room, sparking pockets of energy and spreading it around, staving off any threat of lull.

By the end every man jack of us has been included, and given personality traits he can keep calling back to: The older guy in the second row dubbed a pervert, the moustachioed chap to one side being portrayed as some sort of Gene Hunt-style 70s copper; the fresh-faced young couple in the middle as pious, clean-living Christians….

Although his tall frame and impressive beard ought, by rights, to be intimidating, he has the charm that means he can be pretty brutal with his insults, but still leave his victim smiling. It all goes to make the entire hour seem like a natural conversation among mates.

This control has all been learned in some of the rowdiest rooms in Britain – as well as some of the nicer ones – but there are also bad habit associated with being a long-term club act, too. And, true enough, Mor’s writing away from the banter isn’t particularly strong or exciting.

He takes issue with one critic who said his show lacked structure. ‘That’s the structure right there,’ he says mock-indignantly, pointing to a laminated card with a chapter heading on it. The chapters are The Road to Excess, This Mortal Coil and The Beast With Two Backs – which translate as tales about booze and drugs, ageing and sex. Basically the big topics every stand-up tackles.

Mor doesn’t add much new to any of them, with observations such as suggesting that every man’s fantasy is a threesome – but not two guys, one girl. Mor found himself in that position once, one of the many first-hand anecdotes that comprise the show. It’s all entertaining stuff, and Mor’s such good company you can’t help but enjoy the hour, but whether it’s substantial enough to stay with you longer than it takes to get home is a moot point.

Review date: 22 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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