Mark Watson: All The Thoughts I’ve Had Since I Was Born

SKY CITY Theatre, Auckland

12/05/2009 - 16/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details



Mark Watson (UK) brings ‘All The Thoughts I’ve Had Since I Was Born’ to New Zealand International Comedy Festival

"He stood out in the way you imagine John Cleese or Peter Cook must have done in their day." The Times, UK

English comedian Mark Watson, one of the hottest new talents on the global festival circuit, is performing in the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, with seasons in Auckland (May 12-16) and Wellington (May 19-23).

His current show was the fastest-selling at last year’s Edinburgh Festival; he has performed three sold-out Melbourne Comedy Festival seasons and sold out both his 2007 and 2008 seasons at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in Auckland, and this year expands into Wellington.

Due to public demand, Watson is returning to New Zealand – courtesy of comedy.co.nz productions ltd  – this time with five nights at the SkyCity Theatre, followed by his Wellington debut in a five-night season at the San Francisco Bath House.

His local fans can look forward to a hilarious new show entitled ‘All the Thoughts I’ve Had Since I Was Born’, performed in just 60 minutes!

According to Watson, the rough theme is that his fretful attitude to life and his obsession with minutiae has resulted in him being taken to hospital with chest pains. Well, that’s what the doctor blamed it on, anyway. And advised him to avoid stress. Ah, the irony inherent in advising a comedian to take life less seriously.

He says, as usual, his show will consist of a large number of jokes and stories delivered very fast, in a distinctive accent, with a rambling style, by a thin man.

Watson has achieved critical recognition in several awards: Time Out Comic of the Year 2006, Perrier best newcomer nominee 2005, Barry Award nominee 2006, Best Show awards at both Adelaide and Sydney Festivals and the if.comeddies Panel Prize for innovation at Edinburgh 2006.

Yet he has had little if any exposure in the mainstream media. Such is the power of new media, as Watson enjoys an avid following on the internet.

His talent is not confined to stand-up. He has published two well-reviewed novels: "Bullet Points" and "A Light-Hearted Look at Murder" and last year a guide to green living for newcomers called "Crap at the Environment:  A Year in the Life of One Man Trying to Save the Planet", which arose from his web initiative of the same name and led to his training under Al Gore to become an authorised presenter of the ideas in Gore’s lecture "An Inconvenient Truth".

He also writes television and radio scripts, most notably Spike’s Lookalikes, a 4-part sitcom for BBC4, which stars Ardal O’Hanlon and Doon Mackinchan.

Watson was the first-ever comedian to perform marathon solo shows at Edinburgh Festival – the first, in 2004, ran for 24 hours, during which he successfully proposed to his girlfriend; next, he did 33 hours and then, in 2006, he performed for 36 hours, resulting in the if.comeddies Panel Prize.

In April 2008, he performed his 24-hour show in Melbourne, with a live link-up to London enabling UK audiences to join in.

"A stand-up superstar, a classic observational humorist." Time Out, USA

Performance highlights:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh3G3zDIvbg

official website:
http://www.markwatsonthecomedian.com

NZ DATES:

Auckland – SKYCITY Theatre
5 Nights only / Tues 12 to Sat 16 May at 7pm

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NOTE: The Dominion Post of 13 May advises Mark Watson’s Wellington season (San Francisco bathhouse, 19-23 May, 7pm) has been cancelled "because of a family medical emergency". He will complete his Auckland season then return to the UK. "Ticketholders can see Australian comedian Mickey D [same venue & dates, 8.30pm] or seek a refund from Ticketek."

Book at Ticketek Ph 0800Ticketek or on line @ www.ticketek.co.nz

 

 




Nothing to laugh about – but jokes must go on

Review by Scott Kara 15th May 2009

Mark Watson’s wife is gravely ill. She has been for the last three days back in Britain while he’s on tour in New Zealand making people laugh. He tells us this sad news at the end of his show so it doesn’t sound like an excuse, just in case "I’m shit".

It’s no laughing matter that his wife is sick, but Watson doesn’t let it get in the way of putting on a hoot of a performance made up of long rambling yarns, tangential outbursts and a genius 20 minutes of improvisation sparked by a humble bottle of water.

He is jerky and jittery like John Cleese, lets out excitable, random roars of delight and sounds like a manic Matthew from the kids show Rainbow. [More]
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Frantic and tangled self-effacing digressions infectious and …

Review by Nik Smythe 13th May 2009

It’s a bit of a late kickoff in the SkyCity theatre, fortunately really as I was running as typically late as half the audience myself… Auckland parking in a festival is quite simply a bit of a nightmare – on a Tuesday night no less!  The fact no less than twelve comedy shows opened tonight is largely responsible for the fact We had to park on the very bottom floor of the casino carpark. 

It’s fair to say that the effort it takes to get to any of these gigs is directly proportionate to how funny it had bloody better be once you’re in.  

There’s evidence in that, I think necessary, tirade, that Mark’s excitable need to jam in every tangential thought process in the course of telling even the simplest of stories like he’s the generation Y love-grandchild of Tommy Cooper and Ronnie Corbett, is – to employ a fairly clichéd yet accurate colloquialism in comedy reviewing circles – infectious. 

It’s the fourth paragraph already and, although I’ve possibly slanted the mood of this critique for the reader to infer some idea of my opinion, it has yet to actually state whether I found him funny.  It’s tempting to not even clarify, as payback for the fascinating extended story about a trip in an ambulance that he never seemed to get around to finishing thanks to an overwhelming degree of sidetracking. 

The fact that this is disappointing illustrates how engaging and interesting his maddeningly relentless rapid-fire confessions and commentaries truly are.  The incessantly frantic digressions are all part of it of course, and with any luck he’ll conclude that particular story arc in the remainder of the season’s performances. 

Watson admits to probably not really fitting in to normal society given his tendency to cause himself stress through his own ineptitude, such as his inability to stop his internal monologue hijacking his mouth.  It sounds a bit like a kind of compulsive-narration form of Tourette syndrome. 

When he busts a front row punter whispering to her friend and demands to know what about, she says that watching him drink his plastic bottled water was making her thirsty.  This cues an extended riff on the bottle’s label text and related implications, so brilliantly reeled off with nary a missed beat I considered whether the audience member was a plant.  I hope not though, or I’ve spoiled it for anyone reading this before going to see it… don’t tell Darby! 

That and other key interactions with folks in the audience add a real sense of unrepeatable magic to the rehearsed part of the show.  Impressions of myriad somehow connected topics include (but are far from limited to) customs ordeals, Facebook and Twitter, hen night(mare)s and catching himself making noises like his dad.  Wrapping up the show becomes a merry in-depth rundown of the logistical game plan vis-à-vis the curtain call. 

Thinking back to an earlier point in the chaotic hour, it must be said that when a man can bring the house down just by telling the audience how many testicles he’s got, there’s no more avoiding being clear that yes, Mark’s neuroses and awkwardly tangled explanations are indeed extremely and continually funny.
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NOTE: The Dominion Post of 13 May advises Mark Watson’s Wellington season (San Francisco bathhouse, 19-23 May, 7pm) has been cancelled "because of a family medical emergency". He will complete his Auckland season then return to the UK. "Ticketholders can see Australian comedian Mickey D [same venue & dates, 8.30pm] or seek a refund from Ticketek." 
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For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 

 

 

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