Mark Nelson: Please Think Responsibly (3 stars)

This article is from 2014


The comedian has wondrous images tucked up his barbed sleeve at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Still a spritely 33-year-old, Mark Nelson nevertheless feels the weight of responsibility on his shoulders. Now married and with a young daughter, he reminisces about his carefree teenage days, yet even with this youthful audience, it’s telling that he reaches out to a retired couple to reaffirm his observations.

The Glasgow-based comic covers a wide range of material with a smattering of Scottish concerns such as our relationship with alcohol, the Commonwealth Games and that impending independence referendum. He’s at his best when on a roll but he occasionally struggles to maintain momentum and some of the material feels a little underdeveloped. Nelson’s never been one for long stories or big issues but his past shows have been bound by tighter writing. He still relishes the chance to surprise audiences with darker observations, but tonight a few of the bigger punchlines are visible from afar.

While it might not be vintage Nelson, he remains a confident performer with a nice line of barbs up his sleeve. And he’s a master of similes, frequently conjuring up wondrous images with profound economy. Rounding things off with some wonderful thoughts on conception, Mark Nelson is still a solid, if slightly coasting, comedian.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 25 Aug (not 11), 8.45pm, £10–£12.50 (£7.50–£10).

Mark Nelson: Please Think Responsibly

  • 3 stars

MZA and Amity Productions Uncompromisingly hilarious new show from Scotland’s acclaimed multi award-winning comedy powerhouse. Star of BBC’s Don’t Drop the Baton, BBC radio’s Nelson’s Guide to Marriage and Telegraph’s Critic’s Choice. ‘Possesses a talent that’s simply obscene… Wonderfully crafted gags… his profanity is…