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San Francisco Fringe 2016

Bracing for the Joy: A Middle-Aged Man Confronts His Own Fertility

Marc Wilson

Genre: Comedy

Venue: Exit Theatre


Low Down

“Over 40, some things seem behind you: weeklong parties, BASE jumping, becoming a first-time parent. But every now and then a spouse comes along with other ideas. Is this a wonderful growth opportunity, or just a growth? Time for a new life, or time for a new identity and to flee the continent? Put these questions by a group of his peers, three-time SF Fringer Marc Wilson is about to find out.”




Marc Wilson presents a comedy show about everything he needs to consider before becoming a parent. He’s a witty, self-effacing performer and has done a lot of research into the joys and details about parenthood in all its glory! It’s initially a one person show but it becomes apparent that this is a two person show when his wife chimes in from the back of the audience, she laughs at his jokes and adds her own comments, here and there!

The small stage has a large board across half of the width, to show projections of slides. Wilson has the remote to move the slides on to the next, so it’s all quite self-sufficient and has the air of a presentation. There are well chosen images that embrace his quirky and comedic attitude to parenthood. He talks about dating, and the ramifications of everything to do with relationships, punctuated with emphatic enthusiasm. When he gets to the topic of having children there is a depth of information and realization about how important this is, which holds the audiences attention.

Wilson is an amusing, casual performer with a ‘tell it like it is’ energy. It’s obvious that he likes his wife a lot because his eyes focus up at her for a lot of the time – a little more focus on the audience would be a good thing to finesse. He illustrates different aspects of being a dad through fascinating pop culture sequence and statistics, which shows he has really thought about this topic from every side.

One of the most interesting scenes is when he takes on two characters in a bar, where Wilson is more authentic and compelling. Another successful section includes nuanced dialogue of the parents he meets discussing their parenting styles, it’s typical of many of today’s parents, funny and well done. Wilson also mentions some poignant observations about his own father, which add a nice change of pace and warmth.

Video clips, images, one or two small props, and a short sing along round out the show. Wilson likes cats and even enjoys getting into kid culture, he seems to enjoy it and he certainly looks like he would make a good dad, if he makes that decision!