We all have one of those friends who always says the wrong thing, who never thinks before they speak, with hilarious and often awkward results. Carl Donnelly must be that friend to someone. I couldn't help but imagine him being reprimanded for the trait his whole life, only to discover the perfect outlet for it on the comedy stage. His hour length show is filled to capacity with stories, tangents, self-directed disdain and a fair wallop of awkward, hilarious audience interaction.To begin with, I was laughing at the depth and muddiness of the holes he managed to talk himself into, by the end I was chuckling at the clever way he played with truth and lies, blurring the two.
It's clear this guy was born to talk for a living. He's so good at it that even he fails to notice the time passing. The words pour from his mouth in a semi-structured stream of consciousness, and Carl's wry, chuckling acceptance of this tendancy to word-vomit is how he gets you on side. It's his self-aware, honest evalualation of everything that tumbles from his mouth that makes you like him. He's clearly a liar. He cannot be trusted, and yet when he announces that he's a bit of a prick, that it's his fault he's going through a divorce, you don't believe him. You trust him anyway. In fact, you kinda want to give him a hug.
You might come out of Carl Donnelly's show feeling a little exhausted. His comedy is relentless, and although all that chat seems effortless for him, the loops and side streets he takes you down are a challenge to follow. He leaves loose threads all over the place, and picks them all up again in a seemingly unplanned and haphazard manner. The guy's a mess, but a highly recommended, entertaining, glorious mess.
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Ingrid Grenar - KeepingupwithNZ.com'Chris Martin: 4 Stars - His anecdotal style and slightly distracted mind takes you on a journey around his paranoia and irritations, as well as those ‘I wonder what would happen if’ moments...'open/close
Becoming a NZ Comedy Festival favourite, Chris Martin is back for the third year with another new show Responsibilliness.
His life has changed since we saw him last. He’s in love and is cohabiting for the first time. This joy in his personal life has given him lots of material, from the excess shedding of his girlfriends long locks to the art of hugs and kissing.
Another life changing event leads to some depressing times which culminated in… wait for it…going to McDonalds! This routine went down a storm and sparked further evaluation around middle class food snobbery. How do you pronounce ‘Quinoa’ anyway? However it was his finale that you will walk out the room giggling about. One of life’s true conundrums puts Chris in a toilet situation anyone could find themselves in and it turns nasty!
Chris Martin is a likeable comic whose stage confidence is that of a friendly chat. Fast thinking with well crafted material means he keeps the audience in the palm of his hand.
This was the first night he had performed his new show so I expect this will develop and change over time. The material was strong but some parts didn’t quite flow yet, with one discussion on Aliens seemingly abandoned. His anecdotal style and slightly distracted mind takes you on a journey around his paranoia and irritations, as well as those ‘I wonder what would happen if’ moments.
You really feel like you are meeting the person during his show. His likability shines through his relatable everyday comedy musings.
Read more: http://keepingupwithnz.com/2014/04/26/chris-martin-the-loft-q-theatre/
Carl Donnelly is making his debut at the 2014 Comedy Festival. Despite previous appearances, this is his first solo show in New Zealand, and he’s a little nervous. But if the warm response he received at last night’s performance is any indication, he shouldn’t be.
Right off the bat, Donnelly announces that he is currently trying to deal with a messy divorce, and the situation informs a lot of his comedy. The differences between men and women is an old, worn out topic when it comes to stand up, but thankfully it’s really just a springboard for Donnelly to do what he does best – tell stories. Generalities are ignored in favour of personal anecdotes, and those expecting joke after joke may be a little surprised by his candor, where much of the evening is made up of tales of his newly single foolishness and dangerous love of crumpets.
If I was a little worried about his tendency to involve the crowd (too shy to get involved, it’s why I critique), it soon becomes obvious that this just allows him with more room to riff. Donnelly forms bits on the fly. Ideas come to him in the middle of one story that can cause several minute tangents. This can result in some moments where the actual punchlines are few, but Donnelly’s storytelling is amusing enough to hold interest.
It makes for a light, easygoing experience, one where you can see the comic process occur right in front of you. If not a joke-a-minute, Donnelly’s free-flowing monologues are wonderfully unpredictable. I’m still not entirely sure how much was preplanned and how much just comes to him throughout the set, but that’s a plus in my book.
Morgan Fee - The Daily Blog'Chris Martin: 4 Stars - He is one of those comics of a higher class who maintains a certain composure and confidence that inspires the trust of his audience. It is this slickness combined with his own brand of sincere relatability that makes Martin such an enjoyable performer...'open/close
The self-titled ‘other Chris Martin’ is a young English comedian who charms his audience almost immediately. His latest show at the comedy festival, Responsibilliness, is an exercise in easy, well-crafted observational humour that has the intimate flavour of having a great conversation with a funny guy.
Regrettably, my ability to reflect on the completeness of the show is somewhat limited as I was a little late. Martin didn’t let me get away with my attempt to enter incognito when he, un-phased, diverted from his set to swiftly deal to my tardiness.
Seamlessly, Martin adapts his polished and thought-through work to give it a fresh, off-the-cuff feel. He is one of those comics of a higher class who maintains a certain composure and confidence that inspires the trust of his audience. It is this slickness combined with his own brand of sincere relatability that makes Martin such an enjoyable performer. Would highly recommend.
Chris Martin’s Responsibilliness is running until Saturday 3rd May at Q Theatre, after which he will perform from 6th – 10th of May alongside his comedy partner Carl Donelly at the Hannah Playhouse in Wellington.
See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/04/30/review-chris-martin-4-stars/#sthash.IdZubziA.dpuf
For this double feature we have Chris Martin and Carl Donnelly, both British comics, Martin’s been here before, Donnelly is new. Donnelly gets the job of opening the show.
It takes a few moments for him to settle down from being overly smiley and milking those easy laughs from an earnest comedy audience, so eager to want to laugh many simply volunteer the noise, hoping to attach it to something that could later be construed as funny. But Donnelly is funny. He gets there. And he manages to do so via some personal stories, he’s in mid-life crisis mode and so his 50 minutes on the stage is about the changes in his life over the last year. It creates situations where he can leap off into nearly-manic storytelling but he always leaves himself room to be interrupted by audience members. He doesn’t so much call for heckles as he does encourage discussion. Sadly, two women were too vocal – one in particularly was punishingly frank, opening up her life story’s can of worms when we were there to hear Donnelly. He handled it well though.
As the week goes on he’ll no doubt be over those bright-eyed and bushy-tailed moments. Because the best bits are so often when Donnelly heads to slightly dark, often twisted places within the jokes.
Martin’s hour is sharper, given he’s been here before – and he got to watch his mate do the first hour. His new show is about his new relationship, he’s not in crisis like Donnelly but manages a slap-up job of finding the humour in domestic bliss. There’s a shrewd anger within Carl ChrisMartin’s delivery. He’s never (too) savage but is happy to play the bad guy in his final comedic blows, the way he closes off bits he has a snarky twist, a way of owning the cruel, telling blow. That said, as funny as his final bit is – it’s tacked on and the closing punchline, the way of tying it all together, is hackneyed, almost non-existent really. Still, there’s a lot of laughs up until then – and it was possibly in the telling of the tale on the night I saw it, as they were both playing catch-up against the clock. As the week goes on they’ll have that sorted no doubt.
Worth seeing. Two funny chaps.