Edinburgh Fringe Review: My Life In One Liners, Gilded Balloon, Patter Hoose

One-liner comedy is not known for it's autobiographical content. I doubt if Milton Jones ever really saw a hanky in the street and thought it was a baby ghost. Did Tim Vine really sell his hoover because it was only gathering dust?


So in a way Will Mars has done something remarkable with My Life In One-Liners. Not only is this a show with one of the highest gag rates at the Edinburgh Fringe (don't @ me, I haven't seen them all but I have seen enough to make an educated guess) but it also actually tells his life story.


And not only that but it tells quite a dark story, homing in on Mars' complex upbringing ("My parents had a difficult childhood. It was mine."*) with an absent father and a mother who did her best in tough circumstances. The show then moves on to Mars' adult years where things got a bit better but were still up and down. For a while he had a high-powered job with Club 18 - 30, which offers him plenty of scope for humour.


You will laugh throughout, but there is lots more under the surface here which bubbles through between the punchlines. And sometimes actually within the punchlines. It's not all misery of course and Mars is very funny whatever the events. 


The format is relatively straightforward with the baseball capped comic dryly delivering each gag and occasionally breaking the flow with his own interjections and digressions. It's a little robotic and maybe the template could be looser, but he is good at crowdwork when required, dealing well with occasional distractions in the audience.


If you've come to Edinburgh to laugh you can't go wrong with this show. Whichever dark autobiographical corner Mars heads into he manages to find something funny there. I'm assuming that this is at least largely factual. If it was all made up that would be funny too, but funny peculiar.*I wouldn't normally quote jokes in full in a review but there are so many quips in Mars' show I don't think giving one away for free is going to spoil your enjoyment too much.


Will Mars: My Life in One Liners, until August 28. Buy tickets here.


four stars



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