Mark Watson, Do I Know You? Tour

Joe Coyle 17/11/2010

Rating: 4/5

The Genesis of a tour.
In December last year I attended one of Mark's “work in progress” gigs for this tour at the Soho Theatre, London. Tonight's gig was an opportunity to see what evolved in the space of 11 months.

As I walk in Mark is sat behind a table on the stage typing on a laptop and is talking and mildly insulting the audience via a projected computer screen. Completely improvised, it provides a gentle introduction before Mark disappears off stage to return very shortly after to start the show proper.

Watson's comedy is one of self doubt and this show is no different. Re-evaluating his life and his legacy on the world. Mark's neurosis about his place in the world and how to make a difference leads his thoughtful well observed comedy well. Comparing himself in a derogatory manner to Obama and Derren Brown may be a little harsh but it provides many a good laugh and great insights into his character.

Mark's dialogue with the crowd is impressive and he makes a concerted effort not to belittle any of them. One of tonight's highlights is a completely off the cuff conversation with an audience member who comes from Blackpool. A place that Mark has previously in the evening slagged off. The interchange between the audience member and Mark results in a lot of laughs and Watson parting with a 5 note which he is forced by the patron to sign.

The show is one of many questions and not many answers, rambling seemingly from one subject to the other. Always with insight and closely followed by laughs. It takes much effort to appear this random. I can confirm a lot of the show from 11 months ago remains. Mark's intellect and wit is apparent to all in attendance this evening. At first I was sceptical if Mark could improve his show to another level in the 11 months since the genesis of the tour. I need not have worried as Mark has reworked the material and was completely comfortable with its delivery. Crucially the show has evolved into something which transcends its parts.

Do we know you Mark Watson? If we didn't we certainly do now.