Chris Martin: Claw Machine @ Skybox
Wednesday, February 5, 2020


In his solo one-hour performance, Claw Machine, comedian Chris Martin delivers a solid show. He starts off out on stage, trying to make the sweaty audience comfortable in the barely-ventilated intimate Skybox at the Aberdeen Hotel. Some jokes fall flat, which he acknowledges in good humour, whereas others land with a good belly laugh from the small but earnest crowd.

Chris Martin is a Brisbane-based scientist-cum-comedian. He is a relatable Aussie guy: he tells dad jokes and stories of loving McDonald’s, the difficulties surrounding quitting smoking and his subsequent growing beer gut, his relationships with his girlfriend and his parents. He plays on being a down-to-earth Aussie bloke as part of his appeal, and it works. With his storytelling prowess, knack for dad jokes and self-deprecating nature, he toes the line between cringe and humour in an endearing manner, making you want to give him a hug.

From watching Martin in Claw Machine, it is evident that he is a seasoned performer. The best aspect of his show was that he was able to vary his comedic pace, delivery, and content throughout, ensuring no one was bored. He stares deep in the eyes of audience members to emphasise valuable points in his stories, utilising the intimate space to his advantage.

However, there is something awkwardly uncomfortable about Martin’s presence that is sometimes translated too literally in certain periods of his performance. One could sometimes feel the tension in the room, where audience members are unsure whether to laugh or leave, despite the fact that’s all part of his appeal.

As per the title, Claw Machine, Martin unifies his show by concluding that everything in life comes with a cost: you have got to bear the cost in order to take a chance. Like all good comedians, he amalgamates the best of fact and fiction to maximise comedic affect and provides a captivating performance in the process.


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