Martha McBrier: A Wee Bit About A Lot Of Things
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
A wee bit about a lot of things. Problem solving requires breadth, which is more useful than depth. Employing GP-like shallow expertise, misery Aunt Martha will soothe your troubled mind and simultaneously mess with your head. Rubberneck other people’s despair, and/or, bring your own.
Martha McBrier’s show is all about you. Your job, your face, your general embarrassment. So inevitably you have to be prepared to be funny, if you want to have a laugh. And no, not everyone wants to pay good money to go to a show and then provide the entertainment.
Tonight the star of the show is ten-year-old Jack. Leaning over the lad in the front row, her cleavage about level with he boy’s nose, she asks if his parents should warrant the attentions of social services, given that they think this is an appropriate show for him. Jack is good, and the rapport McBrier forms with him yield her a good ten minutes of fun.
So far so good, but the rest of the audience she picks on are a bit of a let-down. Perhaps it’s too early in the drinking cycle of the evening for most folks to be comfortable with this kind of random probing.
When she goes back to Jack to ask him how she’s doing he replies calmly that he doesn’t think it’s going well on account of the absence of jokes, she tells one to demonstrate why she doesn’t use them. ‘It’s just telling stories and talking to people’ wee Jack says.
McBrier’s Brown-Owlish persona is engaging and she does have the wit to pull this off, just about. She settles her patrols before moving round the room, but this audience takes it like the Brownies waiting to have their fingernails inspected. A rowdier crowd is needed to bring out the best in her.
Reviewed by: Chloe Smith