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Chris Martin: No, Not That One

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Julian Hall

Chris Martin comes out on stage to a riff that puts me in mind of Prodigy – is this an omen? I'm certainly wondering whether his debut Fringe show will signify the arrival of a new young star.

Already with a decent pedigree of multi-bill Edinburgh shows since 2006, the slickness and confidence of this comic is the first thing that strikes you, other than the name of course.

Charming and good looking (despite once being described as ‘an uglier version of Jenson Button’) Martin could indeed have it all. He has the qualities of a less screechy Jack Whitehall and a happier Andrew Lawrence, a comic who occasionally sounds like if he is slipping in to character mode.

For the most part, though, Martin sounds like a nice middle-class young man whose friends occasionally exhibit a WKD side. There's a gag about feeding a cake with nuts in to someone with a nut allergy for example. Jolly japes eh?

It's not that Martin is following the crowd, though, and he's disparaging of the ridiculous habit of ‘minesweeping’, drinking leftover drinks. He extends the analogy to contain other bad habits within other computer games, duly making the whole thing quite ridiculous.

There are times when analogies are over-stretched and while some of his asides are instinctive they don't always make sense or aren't that well suited to the context. ‘I was so excited my dick nearly fell off its hinges,’ was his reaction on seeing an Asian man who was his father's double.

Add to that the unfortunate habit of commenting on the success or failure of jokes – ‘That was a lot funnier than you guys gave it credit for’. He's not the worst offender and it's not fair to hold him up for the ills of the a generation of spunky young comics but forget yourselves at your peril we, the audience, will be the judge of the line between success and failure. You can edit in your own time.

Despite the over-reaching and over-confidence, Martin looks to me like a late-stage prototype of the genuine article.

Review date: 23 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Julian Hall

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