CC BLOOMS (V171)   

AUGUST 5TH TO 27TH    (Free Fringe)


Martin J Dixon, aka Big Fat Gay, is a very agreeable and pleasant guy who has his audience on his side from the beginning. He is young, round and bespectacled, but on the evidence of this show he maybe needs to think better of himself and to be more confident.

He has a good way with members of the audience, including those who come in late – and latecomers are only to be expected, especially when you are downstairs at a club. However, he is only one of several I have heard this year use the, “you’ve not really missed anything” line, which may be encouraging, but gives the impression the performer does not rate his opening. Something wittier but still welcoming would be good.

Martin makes a strong connection with several audience members, getting a loud reaction from them,(thus making the rest of the audience take note),  but repeatedly he shows a tendency to be dismissive of his own material, and to build up towards a punch line which then seems hardly to appear. Being self-deprecating can work well and be very funny, and is very British, but each time it is done it should be for real comic effect, and best if not expected.

Martin needs to make us feel that he is really keen on his material, which he does not always do, and give it to us with less apology. He knows his stuff, his timing is generally good, and he has a good many ideas – though it is not so good to suggest doing something to audience members which then does not happen, Maybe make us feel that something outrageous really IS about to happen, and then pull back just at the last minute. Here I don’t think we ever felt anything dangerous was possible. Maybe this guy needs to decide if he is purely a very cuddly, safe and slyly hilarious comic (which is fine), or if he wants to challenge his audience, put them on the edge of their seats and make them gasp – which is also fine.

I hope Martin continues to entertain us and to take us into his comic confidence. He is generous with his audience, knows how to get them with him, but needs to have a sharper focus and not to let any of his material run into the sand. I am sure he will gain confidence with experience, and I look forward to seeing him in the future.

Tony Challis