Edinburgh Fringe 2000 (59)
Edinburgh Fringe 2001 (316)
Edinburgh Fringe 2002 (354)
Edinburgh Fringe 2003 (376)
Edinburgh Fringe 2004 (422)
Edinburgh Fringe 2005 (415)
Edinburgh Fringe 2006 (547)
Edinburgh Fringe 2007 (668)
Edinburgh Fringe 2008 (733)
Edinburgh Fringe 2009 (773)
Edinburgh Fringe 2010 (927)
Edinburgh Fringe 2011 (963)
Edinburgh Fringe 2012 (1022)
Edinburgh Fringe 2013 (676)
Melbourne 2005 (26)
Melbourne 2006 (29)
Melbourne 2007 (31)
Melbourne 2008 (36)Melbourne 2009 (36)
Melbourne 2010 (56)
Melbourne 2011 (36)
Melbourne 2012 (46)
Melbourne 2013 (57)
Misc live shows (203)
Montreal 2004 (6)
Montreal 2006 (10)
Montreal 2007 (15)
Montreal 2008 (17)
Montreal 2009 (17)
West End run (14)
See Less »
Museum Of Melbourne Comedy Tour
Mark Watson (And Friends) Take Control Of The World In 24 Hours
Last year, Melbourne witnessed for the first time the unique phenomenon that is Mark Watson’s 24-hour-long show.
This year, as well as the usual comedy, stunts, guest appearances, odd happenings and extreme fatigue, the UK’s most innovative stand-up will attempt to create a massive international feat of collaboration with live web hooks ups across the globe. Although it will still be mostly chaos. Naturally.
Original Review:If you’re planning on becoming a hostage, try to make sure you have Mark Watson with you. Not only does he make confinement in an uncomfortable, airless, subterranean box such immense fun, but he also engenders such a feeling of community that within a couple of hours, he’d surly have the terrorists nipping out to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts all round.
It’s what makes these long shows so hard to describe. Simply listing the strange things that went on, from Adam Hills in his undies and fishnets to a near-naked man running around the venue with only a giant koala head protecting his identity, can make it sound like anarchic fun – but it does nothing to explain the emotional attachment everyone develops to the ebbs and flows of the day’s dramas. Call it a manifestation of Stockholm Syndrome, but the audience becomes truly involved in everything.
How else to explain the euphoria when Lord Mayor John So pops in for a five-minute stint of good-natured public-relations banter, cheerleading for the city it’s his job to represent? Never can a civil servant have had such a reception for simply doing his job, and to fully understand it you need to have contributed to the hours of inventive chivvying to make an appearance. It was thought to be in vain, which only made his elusive, iconic status grow – so no wonder his entrance seemed like the Second Coming. And, ever the politician, he wisely ignored the crude effigy of himself that decorated the stage, created as just another diverting side project in a day full of them.
So’s drop-in was, therefore, just one incident – albeit a spectacular one - in a packed 24 hours. The joy is that everyone wants to take part, so not only does the show feature a comic A-list – with memorable contributions from Hills, David O’Doherty, Casey Bennetto, Glenn Wool, Mickey D, Phil Nichol, Josie Long, Maeve Higgins, Geraldine Quinn, Eddie Perfect and more – but the audience throw themselves fully into proceedings. And because it’s an arty, festival crowd, almost anything is possible. Want a fanfare? Why, here’s a bloke with a trumpet… Human pyramid? He’s a woman with circus skills. Bit of a lull? Well, this lady could do a burlesque dance… Everyone wants to help the likeable, and often fragile, Watson, get through the hours. And kudos must go to Watson’s trusted lieutenant, Tim Key, for keeping on top of both the admin, and stirring up some energy when needed.
This is the antidote to Lord Of The Flies. Left isolated from the world, it proves that with the right leader you could get a creative, cooperative utopia – not a feral dictatorship. The achievements of a Mark Watson long show offer nothing less than hope for humanity.
This instalment also featured a sizeable technical team, coordinating over a jerky internet connection with a simultaneous gig in London. A gig, incidentally, that managed to attract none other than Terry Jones to make a contribution. But even if he may have been Python, he’s no John So.
The pan-global idea was a mixed blessing, the London contingent sometimes coming as an intrusion into the self-contained world in Melbourne, but also providing a much-needed boost in the early morning with a slew of competitive games, from a stare-off to rock-scissors paper, which frequently degenerated into niggling accusations of cheating.
To list every in-joke and group achievement would be meaningless for anyone not lucky enough to have lived though these 24 hours (though the genuinely impressive quilt of the world deserves special mention). Equally there are plenty of moments when not much is happening; with the audience left just watching a teenager play Wii or messing about on the internet. But these provide the glue that binds the audience into a collaborative group as much as the big stunts. Like any friendship, it’s defined by the day-to-day – or hour-by-hour – coexistence.
Watson has said he planning to give these long shows a rest, for fear they lose their sense of occasion. But it’s hard to see that happening – as there is simply nothing to compare to the sheer exhilarating, if draining, experience of these memorable epics. Doing them at every Edinburgh and Melbourne is obviously unfeasible, especially given the toll they must take on his health. But it would be a shame to thing an endurance show would never happen as a special event in the future, even if Watson shares the burden of fronting it.
Now, to get that anthem to a 13-year-old boy out of my head. I would explain but – like so much else – you really had to be there…
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
No comments are currently available for this show.
Mark Watson: 50 Years Before Death And The Awful P
Mark Watson Do I Know You? tour
Mark Watson: Request Stops
Mark Watson's Seemingly Impossible 36-Hour Circuit Of The World
Mark Watson, And His Audience, Write A Novel
Mark Watson: I'm Worried That I'm Starting To Hate Almost Everyone In The World
Mark Watson's Overambitious 24-Hour Show
Rhod Gilbert And Mark Watson Are Stereocomics
The Daily Telegraph Open Mic Award Final
Far Too Happy
Brighton Comedy Festival: Best Of The Fest
Twitter Comedy Night
Mark Watson: Can I Briefly Talk To You About The Point Of Life
Mark Watson's 24 Hour Jamboree To Save The Planet
We Need Answers: The Inaugural Festival Challenge Cup
Mark Watson: All The Thoughts I've Had Since I Was Born
We Need Answers 
Mark Watson's Earth Summit
Mark Watson's Last Ever 24 Hour Show
Britcom gala 2009
Mark Watson's Unusually Enjoyable Book Launch
Mark Watson: Do I Know You?
Mark Watson's Edinborolympics
Mark Watson: The Information