Mark Nelson: Irreverence (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Mark Nelson: Irreverence

credit: Trudy Stade

Inappropriate hilarity and rakish material keep the laughs coming

With a devilish twinkle in the eye, Mark Nelson goes about his comedic business with an unruly relish. Hacked off at being called 'irreverent' down the years, he's popped that into the title box for this year's Fringe show; though whether anyone will alter their previously-held opinion on that point seems unlikely on the evidence of his new 60 minutes.

Quickly addressing the issue of his three-year-old comedy award-winning daughter, he gets more mileage out of the home time he's been spending with his new-born son, Seamus; the section about the wee man's constipation trouble is eye-watering both in its forensic detail and the inappropriate hilarity which Nelson gleans from this scenario. Plus there are jokes to be had from people not getting a proper handle on his child's name.

With a stage persona which veers from being vaguely distant as though standing back from a firework he's just thrown into an orphanage, to a faux in-your-face attitude he lands on those who bridle at his less savoury material, Nelson is in enjoyably rakish form while skewering accepted attitudes. He certainly provides ample and withering evidence to suggest that 2016 was not quite the annus horribilis everyone apocalyptically claimed. Whether making quips about the exploitation of Paralympic rules, the ills of Melania Trump, and why North Korean-style totalitarianism would suit him down to the ground, Mark Nelson proves that his comedy continues to be in rude health.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug, 8pm, £10–£12.50 (£8–£10.50).

Mark Nelson: Irreverence

  • 4 stars

The dark horse of the Scottish circuit, Nelson presents wicked gags aplenty.