Mark Watson: Flawed

Mark Watson

Pleasance Courtyard

From 30 July 2014 to 24 August 2014

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

In 2014, Mark Watson celebrates the tenth anniversary of his Fringe debut. As he observes, a lot has happened in that time, despite his Flawed persona, most of it good.

However, as a master of revealing his own insecurities to a devoted public, this likeable performer spends the majority of his hour looking at recent misfortunes.

In fact, Watson spends 80 minutes on stage, saving the cost of a gym membership by getting some not overly strenuous exercise on a treadmill for ten minutes before and after his set.

After a brief recap of some career highs and lows, the main subject of Flaws is a bad 2013-14 during which the comedian took to alcohol and went through a period of depression.

His nightmare incongruously reached its low point at a Thomas the Tank Engine event that he failed to enjoy as much as his 4-year-old son. This agonising low is hilariously reconstructed on stage, complete with (low budget) props.

Quite how someone makes an audience laugh over the kind of experience that leaves some sufferers in hospital and others a cemetery is a mystery but Mark Watson achieves this thanks to his boyish enthusiasm and a zany streak.

As ever, he works with and evaluates the audience, that under review on night two prone to missing some very funny moments (apparently) while finding humour where it was barely intended.

In any event, this is a fresh and, at times, very funny hour that rather perversely peaks with its nadir and will ensure that visitors leave with smiles on their faces.