Things are a little frantic for comedian Mark Daniels at the moment. Hosting a four-day extravaganza of his show, Acute Britishness, at the Hobgoblin, we can’t really blame his jitteriness as he single-handedly welcomes us into the venue.
We’ve seen him once before – at Komedia’s Comic Boom (hosted by the excellent Romesh Ranganathan), where his twenty-minute set left us wanting more – and become increasingly intrigued on how this longer show will compare. Will he display the same quintessential English characteristics, which are so relatable you find yourself somewhere in the middle of hanging your head in shame and laughing at the familiarities? How will he expand on existing material? And will we still find him funny?
After the hour passes, it’s a simple, unanimous “yes”. The audience responds to his typical British awkwardness like a moth to flame – there’s something incredibly magnetic and familiar about his stage presence, he’s difficult not to like.
Daniels engages with the audience with effortless aplomb, hilariously comparing sunny old Blighty with other countries throughout (though, as politely he continues to reassure, this is by no means a lecture). Alongside this is a fresh take on the Nigella Lawson debacle, self-deprecating gags on his own name, and a perhaps unhealthy obsession with late 90s-early noughties pop legend Craig David.
Unlike with some comedians, Mark Daniels’ form of witty education is entirely approachable, and we’re left laughing right until the end. Catch him next time he’s in town; you won’t regret it.
By Nammie Matthews