Lloyd Marken is a freelance writer with a passion for the arts who has been published with Scenestr, Heavy, Buzz, X-Press, FilmInk and Weekend Notes. Visit my blog at https://backtothedrawingboardproductions.com/
Chris Martin Courtesy of Anywhere Festival website.
Pincadia tucked away in Woolloongabba is a bastion of nostalgia for GenXers. Pinballs and arcade machines from the 1980s are littered throughout while old school diner food is served. Downstairs in the bowels of the heritage listed Moreton Rubber building, there are even more arcade machines and a little bar and some booths. The kind of area you can cordon off for a private party or a stand-up set and it is here that Chris Martin holds centre stage with his show Claw Machine as part of the 2019 Anywhere Festival. Appropriately for this setting where the past has been curated Martin discusses many events from years gone by and how they shape an individual.
The show which premiered as part of 2018 Bris Funny Fest runs for close to an hour. That is a long time even for a veteran comedian to hold an audience's attention but it goes by amiably enough. The show is not one belly laugh after another but that is kind of Martin's secret weapon - the stand-up's self-deprecating storytelling builds to things. His demeanour is fairly relaxed even as he thrums with energy, a lot of his stories share embarrassing moments for him and the atmosphere becomes one of just sitting around listening to a guy tell some anecdotes. Then the punch line comes almost unexpectedly and really cracks you up.
It speaks to his talent that he cruises through an hour of ever so slight material effortlessly. Mostly on the strength of his relaxed pacing, lovable personality and significant comedic chops, but also due to some really great bits. Some jokes may not get off the ground, but none crash and burn upon landing. It says something that a couple of the best jokes are ones he relays being told by his father, and it says even more that he shares them in the show.
Beyond his pitch-perfect timing and instincts, there is something delicate and unique in the delivery, not every comedian can share a story of using water to put out an oil fire TWICE!, and make it funny and not even remotely annoying. Claw Machine as part of Anywhere Festival makes use of the intimate and unique venue Pincadia provides and showcases Chris Martin - one talented local comedian.