Mark Watson: Flaws

By Ron Bingham

Poor Mark, here he is performing a show to mark his tenth anniversary at the fringe, where he details his gradual mental breakdown from stress and performance anxiety, and tonight’s (Friday) show was full of lunatics determined to send him back over the edge.

The patrons became as integral to this performance as Mark himself. The front row consisted of a stag party from Surrey, with the stag dressed as a “Jimmy”, behind them was the youngest person in the audience, a 14 year old called Brecon whose dad was determined to explain how he came to give his son that name (something about beech trees, apparently), and behind them was a gaggle of Edinburgh ladies who had dumped the kiddies for the evening and were determined to have a big night out. The audience, collectively, also tried to steal Mark’s most important, and probably irreplaceable at short notice, prop.

So I can’t say it was a typical performance, but it was a hoot. When Mark was given the chance to perform, we heard about his drinking and anger issues and how he was working through them, as well as stories about how supportive one of his children is. Mark’s performance was brilliant to the point of bravado, he is a very engaging person on stage despite severe provocation from a boisterous crowd. Ten years of Fringe performances have clearly given him the skills to wrangle the wild life into some sort of attentive assemblage. This also had a lot to do with the show itself which was wildly entertaining and well worth seeing.

Mark has changed a lot in ten years and since I first saw him. He’s still the energetic funny guy but he isn’t the ‘Welsh Comedian’ anymore, he was putting on the accent for comedy reasons and part of dropping it seems to be about discovering who he is and revealing that to us. It appears to have been a good idea, for him and for his audience.

Mark Watson is performing Flaws at Pleasance Courtyard.
For Tickets and more information go to the Edinburgh Fringe Website: