|Martin Mor: A Man You Donít Meet Everyday|
|Published on Tuesday, 21 August 2012|
Maybe Martin “Bigpig” Mor is best known for his unconventional appearance, with his long beard and tattoos, but if you look beyond this then you will find one of the most underrated comedians working in the UK today. As the title professes, he isn’t a man you’d meet every day, and that fact makes his show that bit more special. Mor can be a contradiction; he comes across as the nicest man in comedy, but at the same time can easily offend every person in the audience. This, however, is his power as a performer, and the crowd lapped it up from start to finish.
The location at The Stand Two felt like someone's living room and the sold-out 40-seater was small enough to appreciate the ramblings of Mor. He dedicated a lot of his show to the audience members, but also had plenty of outstanding material of his own, which included his travels in Texas and how he ended up in a strange road house meeting the locals. However, in the middle of the show he started on a topic most reviewers dread: reviewers themselves. Last year he received two contrasting reviews, and he wanted to find out what people really thought of him.
On the basis of this performance, Mor shouldn’t worry how people view him. But if he wants a description, I would say he is a cross between Billy Connolly and the BFG (Roald Dahl's 'Big Friendly Giant'), and in that vein it's fair to say that the gig was a balance between laugh-out-loud moments and more gentle stories. The biggest laughs came when he made fun of the crowd, and his verbal abuse of some of the audience members was among the best I have ever seen in a comedy show. He didn't hold back and skillfully managed to embarrass a range of people, including a family foolish enough to sit in the front row and an 18-year-old who had brought his cycling-obsessed dad along.
A young member of the second row who waxed his eyebrows also felt the full brunt of Mor’s twisted sense of humour. A great comical skill Mor has mastered is to link the audience member’s misdemeanours with stories from his colourful past, and in this case he spoke of his friend Big “Gay” Dave, who earned the nickname by being the first man to use conditioner at the showers of his Coleraine rugby club. But Mor was so quick with joke after joke that there was little time for respite; his exploits as a life model in a nude art class proved one of the many highlights, as was his view on where females should get a butterfly tattoo.
What was admirable about Mor was that he has such a gentle side, but he could also easily switch his routine to something darker, without crossing the line. While he did joke about topics like paedophillia and testicles, this was part of the multidimensional approach of his comedy. It may not be something all audience members will warm too, and needless to say his style is not for everyone, but it should be clear that his jokes are never sinister and never amount to bullying.
There’s much more to Mor than cheap laughs and banter with the crowd. Like the reviews last year, he may well polarise opinions. But this crowd seemed totally won over by his blistering comic performance – and by the end of the gig, we all wanted Mor Mor Mor.
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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.