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REVIEW: Mark Watson, Glee Club, Cardiff.

SKINNY, dishevelled and fast-talking are all useful words to describe stand-up Mark Watson.

The Mock The Week regular with a growing reputation had the crowd with him at Cardiff's Glee Club as his infectious bonhomie, stream-of-consciousness ramblings and playful interactions charmed the crowd on the latest leg of his Request Stop Tour.

He's been at it for a long time. The 35-year-old reminisced about last being on the stage at the comedy venue when he was 24, and spoke wistfully about where time had gone.

I enjoyed his hand-wringing about whether he was an adequate role-model for his son; quite a deep topic for a comedy set.

accent, is, to all intents and purposes, an observational comedian.

He talks about becoming a father for the first time, but tips it into irreverence by putting up a powerpoint photograph of a random baby on a screen.

He's also a successful author and talks nervously and in an angst-ridden way about himself, about his ineffectiveness and passivity in life - and his lack of achievement.

It's clearly a way to endear himself to the audience. But with a successful career, with fingers in several pies, it's a leap of faith. Still, we all love an underdog, real or imagined.

Watson's inventiveness was delightful - turning the story behind an empty seat at the front of the club into an opportunity to veer from the path of his set, which turned into a game between him and the audience.

His ability to do this shows how much he's honed his craft into a kind of Woody Allen meets Ed Byrne meets David Baddiel delivery.

Watson's gig was a regular chuckle kind of experience. There were a few laugh-out-loud moments, such as when he explained his campaign of hate against the mortgage advisor who turned him down on a home loan application.

His strategy? To print a mocking T-shirt bearing the man's name for sale at each stop on his tour.

A pleasant evening then, rather like being out for the night with the class clown, 20 years on.

[bar] Lisa Jones
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 13, 2011
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