Sunday, October 16, 2011

Demetri Martin - Leicester Square Theatre, 15th Oct 2011

It has been far, far too long since Demetri Martin was in the UK.

I first found him a few years ago, along with my ace brother and sister-in-law who are also big fans, and I have lovely memories of listening to his CD with them in the car as we all headed to Leeds festival and laughing so hard at his description of being humilated by that last bit of ice that clings to the bottom of your glass.

So I've watched his TV shows - and adored his cameo in Flight of the Conchords of course - but having been away for over five years, this is the first time I've seen him perform live. And man. Pretty good, eh? Pretty good in the sense that he's without doubt one of the very best comedians I've seen, and probably one of the best comedians working at the moment full stop.

If you haven't seen any of his stuff (quick, YouTube it now, you fool!) he is, in a sense, an observational comedian. But he makes the best observations you've ever heard and never thought of, and distills them into perfect, clever one-liners that mean there must have been a hundred laughs in this 90 minute set. Every line lands.

And what's incredible is that these jokes often have the complexity of a mathematical equation but he disguises all his working with a charm and fun that makes it appear so easy. Take where he goes with the observation that after 'small, medium and large' we got lazy and just went for "extra large, extra extra large" etc. His suggested replacements are "whoa, slow down, stop that." Could not stop laughing.

I knew that there'd be quickfire gags, and I hoped that he'd bring his flipchart, keyboard, guitar and harmonica (he did); but what I hadn't expected was how up for general chat with the audience he'd be - more so even than the audience, in fact. His material is carefully crafted but he's clearly not only a writer - he's a naturally entertaining guy and a great performer.

After the gig - at which it was pretty obvious everyone agreed with this eulogistic assessment - Martin stopped to sign his book or whatever else people had happened to bring along, and so it was a real pleasure to be able to say how long I've waited to see him, and dorkily say "I'm Anna... I know you like your palindromes." He was, unsurprisingly, very lovely and very generous with his time. I just hope he doesn't wait so long to come back.

1 comment:

The folks said...

This sounds such a fun night and obviously inspired you to write a glowing review.Hoping he makes another visit to the UK soon so we get a chance to see him.Edinburgh next year would be good!!