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Mark Lamarr

Review of his gig in the Olympia, Dublin, February 2000

Never Mind the Botched Jokes, here's Mark Lamarr. Mark bounced on stage, had the audience in the palm of his hand with his first few bursts of witty repartee and then promptly lost it. Lamarr's renowned for playing hardball with anyone brave enough to heckle him from the audience and true to form he made pulp of his first victim with a three minute diatribe. But when he'd finished with his prey he never got back on his proper stream of consciousness. After that he hit the road in spots for the next hour, brilliantly funny and incisive in places, but gasping for air the rest of the time.

Photo of Mark LamarrAnd his hecklers, one in particular appeared to keep him from getting back on track. Maybe Lamarr had a problem understanding the accents but he seemed to have more of a problem remembering his routine. Lines that were meant to be delivered as if they'd just popped into his head came out as contrived.

His inciting the crowd to murder Westlife was funny, but when his audience laughed he got a bit excited and kicked the joke to death. Cian had apparently constantly repeated the cry of "Duck" on Never Mind The Buzzcocks recently, p**sing Mark off wholesale by his own account. His observations on why men and women will never get on - because women are mental - appeared to appeal to the ladies present as well as the men.

From about a quarter of an hour before the end of his routine he asked the audience what times the pubs close. Bad move. From this point on the audience began to drift out in ones and twos. When he told us he would come back on for the obligatory encore, nobody seemed to bothered. There was the usual polite applause at the end and the usual calls for 'More'. Mark Lamarr came back out, delivered a few more passable jokes and then left.

His is a witty man, I wouldn't like to be on the receiving end of one of his verbal attacks, but he died on stage and he knew it. His treatment of hecklers seems to come from a fear of them although he's more than able to put the wittiest back in their boxes. Maybe a few cue cards to help him get back on track when he loses the run of himself might help.

The verdict. Not worth the £14.50.

Ian Noctor

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