Demetri Martin (4 stars)

  • 21 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

In a return to the kind of structured, presentation-heavy show from which he departed for last year's delightful These Are Jokes, our favourite New York math nerd Demetri Martin illustrates how he is being treated for a condition that causes him to be disconnected from reality. Through the Institute of Advanced Personhood's Dr Earnest Parrot, whose voice and shadow puppet form appear from time to time, he has learnt that when someone's heart is broken (in his case, the girl Martin liked at school preferred a kid who was good at sports), a piece of their brain breaks off and gets lodged in space. It forms a 'brain nook', which becomes an imaginary place that includes Procrasti Nation and the Forest of Jokes, where patients go to escape uncomfortable situations.

Dr Parrot advises him that he must share key moments of his life with people in order to make a connection. Along the way we get some typically unusual and gentle observations, including a lot of special material (with brilliant photographic examples and contemplative songs) about how hard it is to be cool, delivered with truly touching warmth. He talks about how, instead of writing 'LOL' in emails, he writes 'LQTM': 'laugh quietly to myself'. And this show, for all his brilliance, provides more of the latter than the former, which is perfect in more intimate spaces but seems less suited to the larger venues that Martin's well deserved popularity demands. That said, he's still one of the most engaging comics around. (Ashley Davies)

UdderBELLY, 0870 745 3083, until 27 Aug, 9.35pm, £11.50-£12.50 (£9.50-£11.50).

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