It was an inauspicious beginning for Martin J Dixon’s new stand-up show, with only 11 audience members, some of whom were loud and rowdy throughout the show. However, Dixon managed to power through a reasonably funny stand-up set for the full hour, with some genuinely good laughs.
His performance and material will unquestionably live up to your expectations – without necessarily blowing you away.
Dixon is a clever orator, and manages to make graphic stories about sexual misadventures eloquent and funny. The subject matter was very specific, and I am perhaps biased as a gay man here, but I did wonder sometimes how much his performance could appeal to those members of the audience who did not identify as homosexual men. Nevertheless, I can only speak from my own perspective, and I do believe that his balance of self-deprecation and overcompensation will be relatable for anyone from any background who has ever struggled with their identity.
Where he is less strong is in his confidence. Dixon is at times a nervous performer, and the less than ideal conditions of this small crowd probably affected this. He messed up punchlines once or twice, and while some of his attempts to engage with the audience were well-timed, others were badly judged and left everyone, including Dixon himself, feeling a little awkward. Sometimes he repeated himself too much and his delivery was a little amateurish on occasions, but his self-referential wit and the standard of his comedy were usually enough to save the joke.
Despite his mistakes, this show does earn three stars. It’s certainly not the best stand-up you will see at the Fringe, and probably there will be times when Dixon fails to amuse you. But if you’re even considering going along to a show called Big Fat Gay, clearly you have a certain something in mind. His performance and material will unquestionably live up to your expectations – without necessarily blowing you away.