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Review of Marlon Davis: Emotional Black Male at Edinburgh Fringe

Marlon Davis: Emotional Black Male
Marlon Davis: Emotional Black Male

There was a longer than usual introductory section (by Edinburgh Fringe standards, anyway) to Marlon Davis’ show, in which we get to know pretty much where almost everyone is ‘from’. This was surprisingly interesting, inasmuch as there was a collective appreciation of the mix of locals and visitors in the room. Davis realises that there are certain occupations that may not be entirely appropriate for someone as squeaky-voiced as he is – even fatherhood is not without problems, as he struggles to take himself seriously when disciplining his son whilst “sounding like a cartoon character”. As it turns out, his voice is versatile, in both pitch and volume.

A road traffic collision resulted in a lengthy hospital stay three years ago, which (to cut a long story short) meant he found himself seizing the day all the more. While most stand up comedians enjoy what they do – one supposes that if they didn’t, they’d go off and do something else – Davis very evidently is having the time of his life on stage. A running gag about towels gets progressively amusing (and I agree with him about the quality of the towels in Premier Inn hotels), and the adage that the only ‘stupid’ question is the one that isn’t asked is put to the test when a relative wants to know what it was like being in a coma. “I don’t know! I was in a coma!

Davis’ warm and engaging style establishes and maintains a good rapport with the audience, and the descriptions of awkward situations, particularly one about a woman who he was happy to have stay for the night but grossly overstayed her welcome (and for all we know, could still be doing so) were well constructed. Hope springs eternal in this emotional rollercoaster of a comedy set.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Following a near-fatal, life-changing accident, comedian and actor Marlon Davis returns to the Fringe with

Three years ago, Marlon was involved in an accident which left him comatosed – and he was lucky it wasn’t
worse. His frontal lobe was damaged, he suffered three brain haemorrhages, and experienced temporary
aphasia (inability to speak or understand speech) as a result. All in all, not the usual basis for comedy show

As Marlon began to recover, however, he was forced to relearn much of what he had previously taken for
granted – and this included his own notion of himself. As his physical health turned a corner and he saw a
light at the end of the tunnel, the question had to be asked: “Do I continue being this happy-go-lucky,
carefree person or am I now ‘woke’ as a result of traumatic experience?”
And now, in Marlon’s gripping new show, he’ll divulge the answer as best he can…

Underbelly Dexter
31 st July – 25th August (not 12 th Aug), 6.50pm


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