Carey Marx – Laziness and Stuff

Friday, 26 August, 2011

Humorous, intelligent observation of human foibles to lighten the heart

Edinburgh ’11, Gilded Balloon,Teviot Row House,13 Bristo Square , EH8 9AJ  – – 6rd – 28th  Aug at 22:15

Carey Marx is one of the many late night comedians in Edinburgh Festival Fringe at the moment. In the Gilded Balloon Student Union Turret venue., once the doors were closed on a packed audience, he began by behaving like a Stage Manager checking out how rowdy the crowd was prepared to be, before stepping onto the stage and introducing himself. The drunk front row were prepared to be as rowdy as possible, when encouraged by the young man.  He had a very voluble heckler whom he dealt with as effectively as he did with the crowd dynamic throughout the show. He did this with a mixture of gentle, barbed humour and direct requests for respect for his timed script, with which he then kept us entertained for an hour, in traditional stand-up manner.

He describes with much recognisable accuracy the foolishness he observes on his journeys as an entertainer in Europe. His observations are perceptive. His attitude of intelligent disbelief and wry criticism of his fellow human beings is effectively funny, though his running self-deprecating gag is about being “pointless”, having no noticeable teaching effect over the years, since his humorous observations seem to have changed nothing in the world.

He makes  light fun of other comedians making careers out of not being able to find a clitoris and gives lessons in how to do so. He makes a running gag of this boyish search and his story about being sat upon in a bus makes very funny use of his view that finding a clitoris is very simple.

He addresses all the current taboos and lightly touches on his political stance to orient the audience to his particular angle of observation. He also identifies himself as “ A Jewish Comedian”, allowing him to make jokes about his ethnic group with impunity. He describes being attacked by a feminist in a bar, allowing himself to be very rude about ugly people who take up political stances to explain the world’s unkind reaction to them in terms of sexuality. He makes humorous remarks about people who just stop, coming to a standstill for no apparent reason. This he developes to make fun of overweight people blocking lift doors by standing stock still once they leave the lift. He does this while never actually being offensive about people being overweight.

He manages this trick in most areas, addressing potential social and personal mine fields with enough wit and humour to walk the tightrope between crass and cool without falling into the banal or the cruel. He is a very likeable young man who makes a warm relationship with his audience, checking what makes them laugh and then playing to the interest area that arises, choosing from a kind of multiple choice sheet of zones of engagement, carried inside him, or so it would seem.

I smiled a lot throughout his performance. I laughed aloud more and more, as he tied loose ends together with masterful intelligence, towards the final fifteen minutes of his eclectic performance. Many people laughed aloud from the start of the set and belly-laughed long and loud as he touched their fear edges to release their laughter. His humour surmounts age barriers and gives expression to the modern young man’s confusion, experienced  when faced with bigotry, sexist nonsense and adult hypocrisy in the world. He is acid about the levels of ludicrous stupidity he meets and gently wry about human weaknesses experienced by all. I left uplifted by his banter and pleasantly surprised by how fluidly he had moved me from disengaged observer to friendly fan in a very short time.

Brought up with Billy Connelly as a measure of how funny a man can be, I am not necessarily an easy audience for a stand-up comedian. Carey Marx came out of this experience well, making a friend of an over-weight critic who “Just Stops” quite a lot, for no apparent reason, considering and integrating the work of talented people. He is a talented comedian with a splendid active mind and a warm heart which gets him through many a minefield to the explosive, unexpected laughs hidden beneath our cool exteriors.

Cast Credits: Carey Marx – comedian

Company Credits: Writer – Carey Marx,  Director – not credited,  Sound & Lighting  – The Gilded Balloon Stage Management and Crew


© Lilian Kennedy Brzoska 2011

reviewed Friday 12 August ’11



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