Mark Watson: I'm Not Here

Returning once again to the Pleasance stage, Mark Watson is not all there. He’s having a bit of an identity crisis... and you are invited to watch the hilarious breakdown.

This style can be mistaken for whinging, but Watson has perfected the art over the years

Mark Watson is one of those comedians that come across as nervous, fidgety on the stage, though oddly it puts you at immense ease in their show. It gives him a more relatable quality, and his rants (which he veers off into frequently) provide a lot of roaring laughter. The theme of this years show centres around Watson’s experience recently on a plane journey with a dodgy, damaged passport. Looking at this key document he wonders, when we lose these key identification means, then how do we know who we are?

Focusing on the meticulous process of airport security, Watson dives into a series of jokes and stories about travel, including the odd terror-related joke (the kind that provide you with the we-shouldn’t-laugh-but-can’t-help-it laughter). With two kids, he also focuses on the double-edged conundrum of being an “absent father” and bribing his children with presents bought in duty free. Another old favourite topic of comedians - technology - Watson also gripes about the way technology and life has changed over the years, questioning how he’ll explain these changes to his son.

Through focusing on himself as a person, Watson talks us through his identity crisis moment of “am I successful enough?” which every person has been able to relate to at some point. Here we see the bitter, success-driven comedian come out, comparing himself to the likes of some bigger names in the comic world and comparing his non-watch-wearing status to their pieces of bling. This almost crazy looking rant about success and comparison of himself with others is executed well to provide serious entertainment, as often this style can be mistaken for whinging, but Watson has perfected the art over the years.

A self-loathing comedian with a fragile sense of self-worth, Watson’s eagerness and worry about entertaining the audience is really endearing and he needn’t worry regardless. Still, he has a back up plan – and I can’t believe that when he does ignite Plan B it works. It’s very telling of how much his audience love him. Mark Watson is always a safe bet; you will never be disappointed going to see one of these shows. 

Reviews by Sarah Virgo

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The Blurb

'Terrifyingly funny' (Times). 'Belly laugh brilliant... The audience was weeping with laughter' (Time Out). Mark Watson returns with the follow-up show to his highly celebrated and successful Flaws. A seemingly minor problem at an airport is the starting point for a spiralling examination of identity in the digital age. But with an enormous number of jokes, luckily, as well as Watson's customary flailing about, chaotic audience interactions and all sorts of other fun. In short: if you like comedy, but you don't come and see this, you're acting very oddly.