Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Will Mars brings the dark side to Dubai

Dubai Laughing's stand-up comedy club show at 1UP Champions Bar drew in an adventurous bunch of attendees for its second weekly event, this time featuring an international tour stop by English comedian Will Mars. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe star performed his highly-regarded festival show, "As Good As My Audience", to headline the Wednesday night comedy event.

The five local comedians opening the event kept the momentum up from a brilliant bi-cultural icebreaker by Luke Haecker (top right) to a risky closing bit by Osman Rohail (bottom centre) -- the latter of which incidentally segued well into what Mars had in store for us later. The audience was so receptive that the feedback-prone sound system was the only source of disruption. Rodger Talty's calm-yet-assertive emceeing (top left) welded it all together nicely.

The humor in Will Mars' set sits nicely in the cleft between his soft-spoken, affable demeanor, and his edgy, Machiavellian material. Eschewing extreme expressions and gesticulations, he narrated lurid tales and caustic observations with nonchalance, sometimes drawing them out to dangerous lengths. The punchlines, as a result, caught us off-guard, and were worth the waits.It was commendable of him to have engineered a set (sometimes requiring a bit of explanation, which he did provide) that was taken in so enthusiastically by such a diverse, first-time audience, only a minority of whom were from his homeland. And I don't know as to what extent he had been briefed on the speech laws here, but he spent quite a while teasing us with speculation of how much trouble he might get into if he pulled out all the stops. Plowing through and then analyzing the extent of and probable penalties for instances of fait accompli only added to the hilarity of his act.

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