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Colin Mars: A Life Full of Lemons
Published on Friday, 24 August 2012
2

2 stars

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall (venue website)
Comedy
3-4, 6-11, 13-18, 20-25 Aug, 9:50pm-10:40pm
Reviewed by Lynsey Martenstyn

 Recommended for age 18+ only. Venue may not permit under-18's - check with venue before booking.
 Free and unticketed. No pre-booking required.

‘A reviewer said I had no stage presence!’ exclaims Colin Mars. ‘So I went out and bought some’. Colin has a bag of stage presents, which sit quietly until the end of his meticulously timed, though-out act. Mars’ stage presence, whilst requiring some tending to, is generally affable despite frequently erring on the intense side.

Mars tells jokes at rocket speed, meaning when one goes amiss, Mars is already on to the next topic, rallying jokes to the crowd like a caffeine-fuelled ping-pong champion. He has an observational, laddish sense of humour. He notices things such as pigeons on statues, the similarity of God to Father Christmas, and the benefits of breasts on car steering wheels.

His observations are well crafted and delve deep past a passing notice, verging on the absurd. His stance on pigeons standing on statues ends with him musing upon a higher deity, wishing to enforce humour on otherwise stern-looking stone characters. His light humour is a far cry from his previous job in the Royal Marines as a part of the anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia, which he brushes off as ‘boring’.

His set was entertaining – Mars had prepared the show so well that the audiences’ attention was always held. Unfortunately, despite his enthusiastic, fast-paced delivery, his material wasn’t always funny, leading to him to speak quicker than before or repeat punchlines. The set swayed more to conventional male banter as it progressed, venturing upon topics such as masturbation and sexual fantasies; which seemed an odd route to take from pigeon conspiracies.

Mars also did not appear fully comfortable with the with audience. At one point he gleefully asked, ‘who knows why it is called ‘too small to swing a cat around a room’?’ An audience member responded with a gruff ‘aye’, leading Mars to retort, ‘well, we’re going to listen to what I think’. His carefully planned out show did not have spare time to interact with audience members for too long – he fired out a few questions to the same person, but other than this, stuck rigidly to his routine.

By the end of the performance, Mars opens his stage presents and concludes the show. He does, clearly, have the ability to raise a laugh, and there’s promise for the future. This set, however, felt slightly laboured and rushed, with rather too many dud jokes.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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