Review: Mark Watson at SkyCity Theatre

By Scott Kara

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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.

Rather fittingly his wife - who, luckily for him, he scored early when she was 19 so "she didn't know what other men were out there" - is a big part of his brilliantly named All The Thoughts I've Had Since I Was Born.

And when you find out she's sick it makes his obsessing about how she is, where she is and what she's doing all the more moving.

Watson starts, not on stage, but wandering in from the back of the near sold-out theatre. And while we are still taking our seats he brings us all to attention with his icebreaker.

Once on stage he tests our "filth tolerance" early on, which is pretty good and makes him happy; so it's on to the "c" word that he avoids using, most of the time anyway, because "it is fun to say it"; and he recounts the most satisfying time of his life seeing a businessman on his iPhone getting smacked in the face by a pigeon.

After his energetic bobbing and blathering you come out charged and pinging like you've been drinking short blacks. Even under tough personal circumstances Watson delivers, and let's hope Mrs Watson gets well soon too.

MARK WATSON
Where: SkyCity Theatre
When: 7pm, until Saturday

- NZ Herald

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