Marcus Brigstocke: 'Je m'accuse - I am Marcus'

If you want to know how it came to be that Marcus Brigstocke became a part-time podium dancer while also working on an oil rig in Scotland, this show is definitely for you. Indeed, it is a far cry from his characteristic politicised rants and spitting style of outrage, but a refreshingly jovial tour through his rather exceptional life.

Brigstocke’s opening section showcases an impressive array of accents, from a cool Jamaican patois to charming Somerset drawl. Claiming that certain tasks are suited to certain voices, he has a laugh hopping between characters attempting various errands; while this is rather silly, it is also very entertaining. Brigstocke is astutely aware of his Radio 4 following and plays on this to toy with the unexpected. For example, he asserts that the Nigerian accent is the best voice with which to convey the unacceptability of parking tickets; necessarily, he urges us to ‘stay with him’ because he ‘just likes how it sounds’. He relishes those awkward moments between jokes, that middle-class pre-emptive wince, but quickly reassures us that no, he is not a racist and yes, we can laugh along.

He continues to play with expectations by announcing the shorthand list of ‘true’ stories that are to follow. Indeed, his claim that he smoked opium when he was fourteen certainly piqued my interest. His keen awareness of his posh background lends his stories a likeable modesty, wary as he is of claiming to have lived a hard-knock life despite the relatively dark turn of his tales. However, despite Brigstocke’s distinctive past, he has a knack of tapping into the universal pitfalls of everyday life, such as the politics of the school run or embarrassing trips to the doctor’s.

While the idea that Brigstocke was too perky to be a Goth is certainly amusing, it is this happy-go-lucky persona that established a minor flaw in the show. Indeed, some of his stories, though very funny, were so laid back that they didn’t seem to have a punchline. In fact, for me the highlight of the show was when he broke script to quickly scourge the dissolution of the NHS. In general, I hoped for a few more eruptions of this ‘new and improved’ Marcus 2.0.

Having said that, the jokes were steady and successful, and there was a very neat coherence to the act. An energetic finale was a mean feat to say the least, considering he is currently on crutches and I left in delighted disbelief that he really did make it as a resident clubber for Ministry of Sound.

Reviews by Emma Banks

Almeida Theatre

Game

★★★★
Battersea Arts Centre

The Rove

★★
National Theatre

A Taste of Honey

★★★

The Light Princess

★★★★

Blurred Lines

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Podium dancer, oil rig worker, food addict, musical theatre enthusiast, posh, eco-hypocrite, ex-Goth, award-winning comedian and chief beverages operator at the Little Chef - screw politics! Let's talk about me.

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets