Mark Watson: I’m Worried That I’m Starting To Hate Almost Everyone In The World, Festival Fringe Review
I watched Mark Watson perform his ‘I’m Worried That I’m Starting To Hate Almost Everyone In The World’ show at the Pleasance Courtyard on Saturday night, just a few hours before he deservedly received the Panel Prize at this year’s if.comeddies Awards. Mark Watson is Welsh, energetic and, thankfully, a very funny man.
The show should have started at 9.45pm, but was running 20 minutes late. The Pleasance Courtyard was bustling, with this being the last weekend of the Fringe. Incidentally, we spotted Avid Merrion in the crowds, who must have been taking in a few Edinburgh fringe shows. Mark Watson’s show was a complete sell out and he’s surely been the busiest comic at this years Fringe with him also performing a 36 hour comedy marathon and writing a novel with his audience. When you see Mark Watson perform you realise just why he’s able to pull off such shows with such success.
The basic theme of ‘I’m Worried That I’m Starting To Hate Almost Everyone In The World’ is a very amicable mugging Mark suffered at the hands of a 14 year old last year. When asking an audience member about her mugging experience he learnt hers was in North London, while his was in South London: “He must have transport”, Mark deduced. When hearing the ages of the assailants were similar he was quick to announce “the net’s closing in on him”. Getting home to his wife one night he announced the subject of his show, as his thought for the day. Soon his wife had made him a sack and Mark was on his way to his 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.
So for the next 50 minutes Mark and his audience pick artifacts from the home-made sack, which represent the seven deadly sins. This jogs Mark memory and he tells us what he hates about each of these sins, with greed and gluttony grouped together. Mark Watson is such a natural performer who is locked onto the wavelength of his audience that he could have easily managed without these visual aids. He flies, like a whirlwind, between prepared material and general funny banter and observations.
Tonight he looked knackered, but still ploughed on and, to save the show, an audience member donated her Evian water to him. When some girl from Preston offered to show her breasts, Mark came right back at her with “I think you’ve mis-read our relationship”. It’s difficult to pick exactly what works with Mark Watson - for most of the show he is a complete whirlwind who you think could easily self destruct, but he never does. He creates empathy with his audience and even though the words are delivered thick and fast you stay with it and become sucked in - he continually takes the ordinary observation and makes it hilarious. Mark Watson is a comic who can raise genuine laughs and ensure you keep smiling long after the night ends.
The end of the show came and Mark began packing his deadly sin props back into the sack. Just a piece of administrative work, but somehow it was still side-splitting hilarious. A great comic, a very good show and a must-see. Roll on his return in 2007.
Mark Watson’s last ‘I’m Worried That I’m Starting To Hate Almost Everyone In The World’ show is on tonight at The Pleasance Courtyard.