A Lot of Nerve (1 star)

This article is from 2009.

A Lot of Nerve

Cabaret in a world of its own

Cabaret in a world of its own

Picture the scene – you and your friends have had a bit too much to drink, you shimmy over to the stereo, pick out a choice tune and turn your living room into a bespoke cabaret joint. Great fun, but when morning comes, you’re well aware that nobody, other than another drunk person, found your movement, meanderings and melodies remotely funny or entertaining.

Well, somewhere along the line, duo Martha & Arthur forgot to do that last bit – and decided instead to make a career out it. A Lot Of Nerve is an utterly bizarre melange of reasonable dancing, poor vocals, insane costumes, lip-synching and entirely random text. There are no apparent links holding the material together, other than an overarching disregard for the audience.

Who is this for? And why aren’t Martha & Arthur using their dancing ability in a more accessible, crowd-pleasing way? A Lot Of Nerve? To charge for this, yes, I rather think they have.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 17, 24), 10.50pm, £7.50–£8.50 (£6.50–£7.50).

Lot of Nerve

  • 1 star

Caustic cabaret combines with dynamic dance, dark humour and decadence to explode the myths of showbiz. Following their journey form child star to has-been, with moments of backstage back stabbing, humorous humiliation and the trials and tribulations of life in the spotlight. Sort of like Gene Kelly meeting Sid James at a…


1. CG13 Aug 2009, 4:14pm5 stars A Lot of Nerve Report

A bizarre review. The night I went the audience loved it and friends have said the same about other nights. OK it's not populist in the way that Apter may go for but this is a rare opportunity at the festival to see some of the most innovative and exciting experimental theatre around that is also good old fashioned entertainment. This is what the fringe is meant to be about, isn't it? Time Out were right when they made it Critics' Choice. Go see!!

2. daisy13 Aug 2009, 6:52pm Report

I came across this review whilst searching for the show details to pass onto my friends. I've just got back from Edinburgh and it was absolutely the best thing I saw; really accomplished, funny and an excellent night out. Can't believe the reviewer saw the same show - don't be put off!

3. A Floyd15 Aug 2009, 3:07pm5 stars A Lot of Nerve Report

Fabulous show, full of humour, depth, darkness and high-quality, accessible dance.

4. L Grime and M Still15 Aug 2009, 5:44pm Report

The reviewer has succeeded in succinctly expressing the feelings of bewilderment and horror we experienced whilst enduring 'Martha and Arthur: A lot of Nerve'. Like watching a video of yourself drunkenly dancing, but worse, Martha and Arthur excel at converting a unique form of mental diarrhoea into an 'artform'. Admittedly the audience of 5 struggled to diffuse the horrible tension created by Martha, and more particularly, Arthur's, suggestive use of targeted eye contact and painfully embarrassing dance routines. However, A Lot of Nerve redeemed itself by providing hours of subsequent comedy gold: picture a sweat-drenched man clumsily pirouetting with his trousers round his ankles and a paper bag over his frightening face, and you see what we mean. Not to be missed if you can see it for free.

5. L Grime and M Still15 Aug 2009, 5:48pm Report

P.S Martha and Arthur must surely suffer from a rampant form of mental disease, or are on drugs at the very least.

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