Comedy review: Mark Little: The BullshitArtist, Assembly George Square (Venue 3), Edinburgh

Mark Little. Picture: Jane Barlow
Mark Little. Picture: Jane Barlow
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THE first thing that happens when I think about Mark Little’s show is that a huge grin, unbidden, spreads itself across my face. Now if that isn’t worth a few stars, I don’t know what is.

Mark Little: The BullshitArtist

Assembly George Square

(Venue 3)

Star rating; * * * *

This is a wonderful hour; friendlier than a baby kangaroo, funnier than a possum stuck in a billabong and more heartfelt than a chorus of Waltzing Matilda at a rugby match. Little really occupies the stage. I mean really. He has a tent and signs and everything. He gets down to getting to know his audience right away, and some of his best material comes spilling out as he desperately apologises to the 18 to 22-year-olds – “the lost generation” – for the hideous mess things are in.

“We should have stopped that,” he cries of everything from the eurozone crisis to Russell Brand. Each generation gets its moment in Little’s cuddly embrace. After his show, I feel quite proud of being (as he describes my generation) “a drug f***ed old punk”. This leads him on to a lament for the passing of “all the good drugs” and back to worrying about the state of the world (and drugs) today. In keeping with current procedure, he has brought along a Hazard Assessment Form for the show, which we help him fill in, and which leads him off at a gallop through fresh comedy pastures.

I should mention that there is performance poetry, but only a very little. And it is very ‘Little‘ stuff, and so passionate, political and stupidly funny all at the one time. Little’s core worry is that we are being controlled by stupid people while the intelligent among us are being dumbed down into submission.

His show is part of the fight against that and, indeed, while only two people admit to being intelligent at the top of the show, by the time we leave we are all shouting our smarts to the roof of what this lovely, funny, genuine, passionate shambles of a performer calls “the very bowels of the ugliest building in the world”. Go and laugh yourself smart.

• Until 27 August. Today 10:20pm.