Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Mark Stephenson – Half Man Half Amazing review

Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.


Mark Stephenson – Half Man Half Amazing review

The Banshee Labyrinth

By Ben Williams

4 out of 5 stars

Mark Stephenson has a lovely smile. He knows so too, and shows it off, because he wants you to know he’s happy. He’s happy with not being happy.

The 28-year-old stand-up has an expressionless, ultra downbeat style. But unlike most of the deadpan stand-up brigade, Stephenson’s not moaning about his own despair. He treats being content as the happiest anyone’s likely to get, and he has some elegant pieces of skewed logic to back up his theory. 

The monotony of life is Stephenson’s main theme, tackling office work, growing up in Bromley and Paloma Faith. But as the show progresses, he becomes increasingly philosophical and political, offering serious thoughts on religion or Obama’s hypocrisy, before wonderfully undermining his points with ridiculous punchlines.

It’s not a perfect show – some long set-ups don’t quite have successful payoffs, and the ending is particularly shambolic – but ‘Half Man Half Amazing’ is a smart, remarkably assured debut, and Stephenson has a refreshingly nonchalant, deadpan charm. He’s definitely a talent to watch. 

See 'Mark Stephenson – Half Man Half Amazing' at the Edinburgh Fringe


    You may also like

      Support Time Out

      We see you’re using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue is Time Out’s main source of income. The content you’re reading is made by independent, expert local journalists.

      Support Time Out directly today and help us champion the people and places which make the city tick. Cheers!

      Donate now