Marcus Brigstocke: Why the Long Face?

As it turns out there are lots of reasons for Marcus to have a long face at the moment, not least because he was born with one. Having suffered heartbreak for the first time in his 43 years, it’s somewhat appropriate that Marcus’ latest fringe offering revolves around reasons to be unhappy. He’s an emotional man, and with an honest, intelligent humour he dissects the breakdown of his relationship, and hilariously reflects on how difficult it is to start dating again when you’ve been out of the game for a while.

This is a very clever, uproariously funny, and skilled performance, make it one to watch this Fringe.

Beyond his romantic life, Marcus’ subjects range from raising preteens to the dire state of English and American politics, to legos. No. Not legos. LEGO. Marcus’ way of transferring discussion of something so seriously horrific as the fallout from Brexit to minor bugbears about American spellings is truly brilliant. As is his expert way of comically explaining the political news of the past year to his audience with his own spin and opinion, managing to make it sound fresh even to those who followed the stories to a near obsessive degree. But more than that, his ability to make difficult subjects funny when they’re really no laughing matter demonstrates his true comical genius.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Despite the show’s name, Marcus informs his audience that really, this set is more about reasons to be happy and grateful, and far less about being long-faced. He’s right. Though, like anyone, he has reasons and a right to be unhappy, he knows that he’s in a relatively fortunate position. Because of this his show never comes across as whining or self-indulgent. It’s actually rather uplifting, and excellent in how he is able to relate to every person in the room, no matter their age. His many interactions with audience members (don’t worry, he doesn’t expect participation and he absolutely does not make jokes at any audience members expense) are beautiful.

I won't spoil it, but the beginning and end of the show are just perfect. The beginning setting the tone of the show, and the ending bringing it all together quite jarringly. This is a very clever, uproariously funny, and skilled performance, make it one to watch this Fringe. 

Reviews by Ailish George

The Bridewell Theatre

You Can't Take It With You

★★★
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Bananaman

★★★★★
Young Vic Theatre

How to Win Against History

★★★★
Gilded Balloon at the Museum

Night at the Museum

★★
Pleasance Courtyard

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★★★

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The Blurb

Why? Because of austerity, Donald Trump, cheese strings, George Osborne, being single, Isis, The Daily Mail, tax avoiders and the inexplicable popularity of nail bars. That's why. Come to this show – last time there was a fire and almost no one died! Award-winning comedian returns to the Fringe with his critically acclaimed show. ‘If you haven’t seen him live, then you haven’t seen him at his very best’ ***** (Mirror).

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