Review: Martin Mor: A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day – The Stand (2), Edinburgh.
If by some miracle you didn’t happen to catch his face glaring at you from the myriad of promotional posters, Martin Mor’s staging leaves you in no doubt at all what the big man looks like. Portraits of the comedian are dotted all around his venue, the purpose of which becomes very clear later on. This is A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day, a glimpse into the world of the Northern Irish bearded wonder.
Audience interaction immediately becomes a focal point of the show. Mor is as sharp as a knife, shooting down a baffled old man attempting to commandeer proceedings and immediately establishing a connection with his crowd. Contrary to the tired method of using banter to ease a show into motion, Mor is comfortable canvassing audience opinion throughout the performance. He is relentlessly mischievous, berating a grown man for spending a Friday night with his mother and in the same breath inquiring if he has ever seen a ginger muff. Despite the occasionally bawdy subject matter, there is genuine warmth to the proceedings, and Mor never allows the technique to become threatening or invasive.
Mor also has a few stories to tell. Adventures in the U.S.A are amusingly recounted, while there is some helpful advice for cyclists cut up by inconsiderate motorists. Black humour is deployed infrequently but effectively, a strain of gross-out humour also going down a treat with the crowd. Mor doesn’t linger, moving between sections with a professional grace and keeping the show fresh and invigorating. Physicality also plays a large part, high fives being thrown up at random and props used to attack unwitting spectators.
Perhaps unwisely, Martin has asked some school children to write stories about his appearance. Their creations are unwittingly hilarious, the Irishman mining their responses for their limitless comic potential. Image is the loose theme keeping this performance together, Mor exploring the complexities of being a life model and proudly sharing some of the results for his grandstand finish.
Whether he is bellowing out of the window at passing pedestrians or taking a crowd member to task for failing to enjoy a joke correctly, Mor keeps a firm grip on his material and a twinkle in his eye at all times. A Man You Don’t Meet Everyday is highly recommended as an infectious crowd pleaser, with Mor’s irreverent take on life going down a treat with his audience. Just don’t bring your mother.
Date of live review: Friday 10th August 2012