MARK Watson is bringing his trademark wry, self-deprecating sense of humour to Weymouth Pavilion next week.
Following a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival, this magnetic comedian is embarking on a 65-date national tour with his new show ‘Flaws’.
In the show, which marks his tenth anniversary in comedy, Mark explores why, despite our lack of perfection and poor decision-making, humans are still pretty spectacular.
Even though he may not possess the answer to all of life’s most serious questions, the comic reflects with his customary hilarity on the process of growing up, including the terrifying ageing process, parenthood and the fear of passing terrible traits onto your children.
In this thought-provoking adventure, he examines human character defects and the effects his own flaws have had on his life. This is Mark’s most personal and funniest show to date.
In 2006 the stand-up won both the Panel Prize at The If.comedy Awards and the Time Out Critics’ Choice Award.
The comedian, who has also recently starred with Henning Wehn in Dave’s new show, Road To Rio, explains just why he loves the live arena so much.
“The buzz you get from a live show is pretty unique. You walk out on stage and you get an immediate, huge sense of love and affection from the audience.
“It is only comedy where you get such an instant response and where the stakes are so high.”
The comic, who on radio has presented the well-regarded shows Mark Watson Makes The World Substantially Better, 100 Million or Bust and Mark Watson’s Live Address to the Nation, said: “People instinctively feel that stand-up must be terrifying because the performer is so exposed.
“There is no doubt that I find it nerve wracking. Comedians who feel no anxiety have simply become machines.
“But in a live show. At least you are in control.
“With TV, what you do might only be reflected in five per cent of the final edit; you’re just a cog in the wheel.
“Even if you do well, you’re at the mercy of casual audiences who might decide they don’t like you within five minutes and write nasty things about you on the Internet.
“But when it’s your tour, matters are purely in your own hands. Yes, you’re on your own and vulnerable, but the flipside is that you have autonomy.”
Mark, a fully fledged Edinburgh Fringe legend who has in the past manfully performed marathon 36-hour shows, said he finds touring the most rewarding of all experiences.
“It’s so satisfying. Most comedians want to get to the point where rather than being just another act on the bill, they are touring under their own name.
“I don’t aspire to much more than having a couple of hundred people who’ve bought a ticket with my name on it – even though some of them might not know who the hell I am!
“Then you’re given artistic licence because people have actually paid to see you.
“That’s a great feeling. On tour, you’re delivering something that feels like it’s entirely your own product, for want of a better word. That’s pretty satisfying.”
The stand-up goes on to outline what subjects he will be covering in ‘Flaws’.
He said: “It’s not unusual that, like me, a comedian claims to be performing ‘His darkest, most personal show’.
“Hardly anyone has written an entry to the Edinburgh programme saying, ‘I don’t give a toss – I’m just going through the motions with a trawl through my old routines’.
“These days PR people stop us telling the truth like that in our blurbs. So a lot of observational comedy is performed by people like me talking about things that have gone wrong.
“I’ve now been a professional comedian for 10 years, and it seemed like the natural point to reflect on what I’ve done.
“I couldn’t help observing that most of the time has been spent making money from telling people about my personal inadequacies.
“So ‘Flaws’ is about how my hapless stage persona has at some point become a hapless human being.”
The comedian has also appeared on We Need Answers, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Mock the Week, Would I Lie to You, Have I Got News for You, Live at the Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Channel 4’s Comedy Gala.
He said: “The stuff I talk about on stage is not that different from my real life. I have a definite shtick – a slightly manic nervous energy which makes something of my incompetence and general failings.
“But that’s actually very similar to how I conduct my life. The effect of that on my mental well-being is ambiguous. If you’re performing a version of yourself, it’s quite easy to lose track of where your real self begins and ends.
“In the show, I say that in my twenties I felt that it was fun to tell anecdotes about the different ways I’d screwed up.
“You’re allowed to be a shambles in your twenties. But it is sobering to realise that you’ve got no better as a 35-year-old and that if you don’t shape up, you’ll be a 50 –year-old who has still not got to grips with the basic pillars of life.
“I have two children and a mortgage and still walk this strange tightrope between a seemingly respectable life and complete chaos.”
Mark Watson is at Weymouth Pavilion on Sunday, September 7, from 7.30pm.