If you’ve ever wondered how you win at yoga or if you think pugs are not real dogs, Chris Martin’s original brand of dry and witty observational comedy is sure to hit the spot. Returning to New Zealand after his debut in 2012, Chris is back on our shores with a brand new show.
Throughout the hour, Chris shares with us a whirlwind of anecdotes which mostly center around his anxieties (like finding mangoes intimidating) and slightly morbid obsessions, like how he would react if he ever got attacked and also how he’d like to die. He is an accomplished comedian whose material is intelligently written, captivating and dripping with cynicism yet you will leave feeling anything but jaded.
I was most impressed by his confidence and effortless command of both the stage and the crowd. Even a confused whispering audience member whose phone subsequently rang didn’t faze him – he took it in his stride and handled it brilliantly, as if it was all part of the set. He has a natural charm and friendly disposition which is evident through his regular interactions and banter with the audience.
His ability to inject humor into just about anything is what makes this such an excellent and enjoyable show. He tends to dip in and out of stories and go off on tangents – I wondered if we would ever find out what the deal was with that teapot! – but he does so masterfully; all the time holding our attention with ease, keeping us hooked and wanting more.
Spot The Difference is loads of fun, endlessly entertaining and genuinely very funny. Chris is definitely one to watch as he is undoubtedly one of the rising stars in the comedy circuit. I already cannot wait for his next show!
Closing the show is Chris Martin, another favorite of mine from the Gala. He easily captures and holds the audience’s attention as he relays his jaded perspective of every day things. His material is deliciously cynical but oddly compelling and easy to relate to. And most importantly, it’s funny as hell!
Chris Martin is back in NZ following his success with ‘Chris Martin No Not That One’ in 2012. The Classic main room was packed out for this already popular festival comedian.
Chris slightly swaggered on stage but not in an overly confident way. He had some great banter with the crowd and handled his audience well, even if they were interrupting. He is open and friendly and never offensive while still sounding in control.
There is a positive energy from the offset. He kept a great pace throughout the show as he dipped in and out of material and crowd interactions. As well as a great anecdotal style, Chris also delivers wonderful punchlines that can somewhat creep up on you.
His material mostly centers around his own neuroses but delivered in an upbeat way. Dogs, baths, death by Ebay or simply the lack of an alibi. He’s thought of it all. He’s worried about it all.
Some may think Chris is easily distracted as he jumps around topics and stories. However he does this with skill and his distractions are welcomed due to the resulting tangential anecdote.
Spot The Difference is an honest and fun take on life’s worries, frustrations, gripes and fears. Some wonderful reflections with a left field view.
They aren't in fact billed together, but Britain's young gun Chris Martin and American veteran Tom Rhodes create a great comedy face-off in their respective festival gigs at the same venue. If this is UK vs the US, stand-up style, it would be hard to pick a winner. They both provide some great cultural comedy insight.
On Tuesday night, Martin had the disadvantage of a 7pm timeslot, and a smaller, less liquored crowd. But his observations on the quirks of humanity still tickle the funnybone. His audience interactions are gentle and sly, and his quips were wide-ranging: bubbles in baths ("a foamy layer of shame"), competitive yoga, why naps are better than massages, solo vs communal fruits (apples vs watermelons), and why it's called a glovebox when we don't use it for gloves. His casual British demeanour and slightly rambling delivery can occasionally take the real punch out of the joke, but his notes on consumer reviews of kitchen appliances, and the unseen advantages of a longtime girlfriend deliver big laughs.
By comparison, Rhodes is like conversing with someone on speed - he's louder, brasher, more controversial, more energetic, and humorous in his style as much as his content. Sex, religion, racism (sunburn is the real cause), and gay marriage are all wound into personal anecdotes from his seemingly nutty life.
His stories about being hit on by another male comedy star, his father's 100 degree air conditioning rule, and losing love in Amsterdam are all very entertaining, with or without a concrete punchline. But it's his quips on the English, ideas for the new Pope, and thoughts on mixed-race relationships ("you gotta keep mixing the races until we're all the same grey-ish colour") which cut through.
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Chris is exactly the kind of guy you would want at your party; he’s charming, he’s funny and he’s totally inoffensive. Coming out on stage with a teapot and an over-sized notepad, he started off by telling us what he likes about Auckland before launching into his complaints.
His complaints? The fact that we don’t have enough Sushi places in Auckland, just about one every second building. Who needs a sushi train; we have a human conveyor belt going on in this city. And then there’s the (Manuka) honey, it’s in just about everything (but the sushi) and it makes everything 9x more expensive!
We spent the hour getting to know Chris, his mother’s obsessions with Chinese takeaway containers (yes Chris, you will thank her for saving them when you finally open your own Chinese takeaway) and his own obsession with killing and being attacked. We also found out his reason for getting a girlfriend (everyone needs a long-term alibi) and what he would say and do if he was ever attacked in bed – did I mention his obsession with killing and attacking?
Like all good comedians in this day-and-age, Chris also talked about the recession and even had a few graphs for us – apparently it IS normal to measure things in distance.
Chris will be performing at The Classic for the rest of the week before he heads to Wellington. I definitely recommend you make the time to check him out, he connects well with his audience even when they’re caught writing notes during his show or giving him live feedback (yes, it all went down last night).
Chris Martin's Spot the Difference is an enjoyable and fun hour to be had at this years' Fringe. He finds humour in the middle class tribulations of his life and has the charisma and charm to keep the audience laughing in the stuffy setting of the Gilded Balloon. Drawing on his own personal experiences, he has something of the Jack Whitehall about him and this is never more apparent than when he reads excerpts of his dad's food diary. However, where Whitehall sometimes seems a little shouty, Martin is a more controlled and slick performer.
From playing practical jokes on a squirrel to his bizarre relationship with food and drink, he masterfully flits from being an impressive story teller to more generalised observational comedy. He has an infectious youthful exuberance as he bounds around the stage but where he may wish to sound as though he's wondering out loud about his current malaise, it's very apparent that each joke is carefully crafted and considered. Which though in itself isn't a bad thing, there is a sense that any potential attempt to make his routine seem a bit more off the cuff are unsuccessful.
Martin is not breaking any new ground but for the most part he's an endearing and funny presence. Based on this performance, the hype surrounding Chris Martin appears entirely justified. I implore you all to seek him out now whilst you can still afford a ticket.
Chris Martin comes onto the stage to loud applause and some friendly 'Kiwi-styled' cheering in front of a three quarters full San Francisco Bathhouse.
Martin, a young British comedian who has never sung in a band called Coldplay, initially comes across as rather quiet and reserved, but during his hour long set both he and the audience warm and the end is far better than the beginning.
Early on he politely converses with several of the audience members in the front row, as well as those willing to yell out comments from the back. Martin is never rude to his audience members, so we quickly grow comfortable with his conversational style of comedy. Even when a couple arrive 25 minutes late for the gig, he is courteous, and pauses his rant to make sure they are happily seated.
Even after embarrassingly mistaking a couple of friends for a mother and daughter, he is happy to make fun of his own mistake and point out that perhaps he is slowly, "losing members of the audience" with the errors he does make.
Perhaps this truly is the case in the opening 10 or 15 minutes, where the jokes seem slow and spread out. However, after this slow start, he begins to warm up, and may have benefited from some extra time at the very end.
Martin has many moments of cleverness in his jokes, and many of the punch-lines are as thought-provoking as they are funny. My particular favourites include anecdotes about dogs, how fear 'works' and a shopping experience while abroad. The majority of Martin's show consists of personal stories and opinionated rants, which are both relatable and funny.
Structurally, Martin skilfully has a way of making the whole show have a definite finish, with constant references to a teapot prop he has on stage. While never fully telling the story behind it until the end of the show, he keeps the audience in the palm of his hand for the entire set, and the pay-off does not come as a disappointment.
Chris Martin delivers an hour's worth of funny, clever, clean and thought-provoking comedy, and while perhaps not the funniest, Martin makes up for it with an on-stage persona which is polite, caring and likeable. Recommended.