Mark Watson is a comedian from Bristol, known for various television appearances, most notably ‘Taskmaster’ and ‘Bear Grylls’ Celebrity Island’. He is currently touring the UK with ‘The Infinite Show.’
Mark Watson does everything he can to make his show enjoyable. He wants everyone to be comfortable and have fun, not to worry about being picked on. That’s not to say that there’s no audience involvement - this show revolves around personal connections, something that Watson finds ever more important following his divorce.
Watson interacts with his audience in a variety of ways, discussing quirks, providing cultural updates for the younger people, and frequently enquiring about his status in the unofficial league table of comedians, which is definitely not important to him (though he would like to note that he is above Michael McIntyre according to the definitely unimportant ranking on Twitter). This provides an organic and ever-changing show and a friendly and warm atmosphere - his off script ramblings and chatter make the evening feel like a unique and tailored experience, and Watson is certainly adept to thinking on his feet.
Each member of the audience almost becomes Watson’s confidante as he recounts tales from his personal life, “this had better not get back to [X], all it would take is one person in this room.” This is never awkward or unwarranted, as the audience also find this trust in Mark when they are given the opportunity to share something that people judge them for. This creates some unexpectedly sweet moments of kindred spirits finding one another in a crowd, and Watson catching up with some repeat-viewers.
In this way, everybody is made to feel welcome and it is hard to see why Watson apparently has a low percentage of people who come to see him more than once! The connection the audience gains would appear to only get better as time goes on. It apparently never leaves Watson, as he claims to keep all of the audience’s handwritten confessions at his home.
The ironic, self-derisive tone of the comedy is always light-hearted but allows some serious empathy from audience members, and, at times, brings some heart-warming lessons that Watson has learned. This show feels more like a long, laid-back and entertaining catch-up than a performance, even for those who only know him from ‘Taskmaster’ he feels like a friend by the end. It is worth noting that despite his growing popularity in television shows, Watson really comes into his element on his own, with his somewhat chaotic and nervous energy pushing him to deliver what feels like a stream of consciousness. Even his mannerisms and the way he sometimes rushes and repeats himself makes the delivery so much funnier and more natural.
As a parent, Mark Watson is concerned about getting value for money, and he certainly doesn’t disappoint in ‘The Infinite Show’.
Reviewer: R Mottershead
Reviewed: 17th February 2019
North West End Rating: ★★★★★