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Mark of Stupidity – Edinburgh Review

The White Horse 18:00

Nina Conti may be wowing them at the Pleasance Courtyard, but if you’re brave enough to venture out onto the Free Fringe this year you can marvel at a ventriloquist with a truly unique talent.

Mark Felgate can do tricks with his voice that few vents have ever got anywhere near. He can, for example, mouth one word, while the sound of a different word comes out. He can create an echo chamber with his voice. Seemingly, he can produce two voices at the same time.

Even more amazingly, Mark’s show is not actually built around this extraordinary talent. He doesn’t do the lazy thing and churn out another vent show. Instead, he just casually chucks in the occasional vocal miracle and leaves you wanting more.

Mark of Stupidity is a remarkably confessional and brutally honest show. Between all the face-pulling, daft magic tricks and slick comedy songs, Felgate talks about his marriage break-up, his sleep problems, and the fact that his desire to always be the funny man has sometimes had a very negative effect on his life.

Mark has had his fair share of success. He’s worked as a children’s TV presenter, and his co-creation Men in Coats was undoubtedly one of the most smart and original comedy acts of the past 20 years. But now he seems to want to move on from all that and dive headlong into that most serious and risky arena of comedy, “the one-man show as therapy”.

If you loved Tommy Cooper and Eric Morecambe you will love Mark Felgate, but also be prepared for 60 minutes of quite raw self examination and soul searching – more, I suspect, than even Mark himself realises is present in the show. 5 stars.