For all the innovative, original and ambitious comedy available at the Fringe, there is still a place for what we might term an old school comedian. Someone who isn’t trying to tell you anything much about themselves, make any greater profound point, or be some sort of revolutionary spirit. This is where Scottish comedian Mark Nelson comes in. A ten-year Fringe veteran and now 42 years old, his purpose is simply to make the audience laugh and laugh a lot, a task he achieves with a remarkable ease.
Playing to a full room of largely but not exclusively homegrown Scottish people, he frequently had the audience in uproar. Some might feel some of his material is a little close to the bone and very occasionally leans into common tropes and stereotypes, but I doubt many cared. The show itself is a kind of greatest hits of those last ten years. Having seen him perhaps eight years ago and recognizing the riffs on the wimpish dilettantism of the millennial generation from that show, it was remarkable how the jokes still hit home hard with the audience.
That material hadn’t dated one bit, if anything the audience for it had got bigger and I suspect he knows his audience very well. Comedy at the Fringe is many things to many different people and if you simply want to have a laugh without having to dwell on the meaning of existence too much, Mark Nelson (and his rubber chicken) is here for you and he won’t let you down.
Mark Nelson – ‘Bits And Pieces’
Monkey Barrel Comedy – Hive 1 19.05
Aug 11-13, 15-20, 22-27https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/mark-nelson-bits-pieces