MICF - Mark Watson: 50 Years Before Death and the Awful Prospect of Eternity

There are few comics in this year's festival who have a section of their show devoted to administration. Mark Watson is one of them. Watson is a comic who likes to keep his audience on their toes, letting them know that they are not just passive absorbers of comedy, but are active participants.

Being in the audience is serious business: at the end of the night a Most Valuable Player award is given to the best audience member. And the best audience member for the festival? A spot in his will. That's one hell of an incentive to laugh.

Still, it'll probably be a while before Watson's will becomes much of an issue. He's only 26, and by his calculations (well, Google's, actually) he's got another 50 years ahead of him. With this simple arithmetic in mind, Watson is set to take us on a journey through the stages in his life, beginning with all that has happened so far and ending with his inevitable death.

Watson is a comedian who is often interrupted. By himself. As he works through his material, he is deliberately scanning the room for a distraction, any distraction. He'll happily cut himself off mid-story, even mid-sentence, when something more comedic comes along. It is here that he thrives, superbly constructing a back story to all sorts of random events, including a quarter hour devoted to a mysterious couple who walked out abruptly midshow.

It's only early on, but Watson would have to be in the running to be the nicest bloke at the Festival. He's relaxed, unpretentious and damn funny when he's on the fly. At only 26, and with a published novel and stints all over the UK to his name, he's something of a comedic child prodigy. However his style of organised chaos makes him seem like a seasoned veteran. Make sure you catch his show before he becomes a superstar. Or drops dead. You might just end up in his will.


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