Edinburgh Fringe 2019
Marc Jennings in one of a crop of very talented young Scottish comedians. A rising star of radio and TV, with an on-line following too, he’s been described as an ‘acute observer’ who’s accomplished at channelling his frustrations into a wider social critique.
He has all the characteristics of a modern stand up. Young, good looking, immaculately coiffured and presenting a confident easy-going manner, he sets high expectation from the start. There is a broad Scottish accent but no sub-titles are needed here, he’s easy to understand.
The room is packed with a young local crowd. As he is playing on home turf, he should knock this one out of the park.
Marc delivers a traditional stand up set. A man a microphone and some nice observations on his life. We are treated to a nice section on Scottishness and the vagaries of the local dialect. He pays attention to the world around him and crafts it into mini routines. As a young man, Marc’s stories and anecdotes reflect life from that perspective.
He studied philosophy at university and there are some clever gags that reflect his education. He cleverly contrasts the high brow with working as a shelf stacker. Following graduation, he moved into a more corporate environment. Things did not go well, but it provided a wealth of solid comedy material. Being reflections on working a mundane job, there is much for the audience to identify with.
We find out that Marc has a problem with authority, unsurprising when he is almost certainly much smarter than any boss he’s likely to have. This leads to amusing motivational issues. The characterisations and depth make this seem real and his use of corporate speak is spot on.
As you would expect from a graduate, his use of language is rich, and detailed. The jokes are well crafted, nice set ups and tight punchlines. There is evidence of excellent timing and a nice delivery style that makes this look easy. There is a lot of comedic skill on display.
Marc is a comedian on the way up, he’s attractive and has a bit of following. He will attract more TV work and, in all likelihood, carve out a successful career.
The hope is that he pushes himself, there was a sense that this was too routine and that there is more to come. Like many other young, talented, white, male comedians he is relying on talking about his friends, family, jobs and relationships to frame his stories.
Whilst he will have his place on the circuit, how high he rises will depend on the risks he takes. There is a limit to how far a comedian can go by playing down to the Friday night club crowd. I’d like to see less of the personal and more of the philosophy and social critique that his show touched on. As a clever, educated comedian it would be good to see him play to his strengths. If he wants to break out, he will need to define what makes him different from the rest.
This show is recommended. It’s a good show, one with which no one in the audience is going to be disappointed.