After last year’s Edinburgh show in which Mae collected questions from the audience to improvise around, it’s pleasing to see a whole new show, Dope. Mae is one of my favourite comedians on the circuit today and she is greatly skilled at rousing huge affection from her audience, so it’s no surprise that the City Cafe is packed for her show.
Dope is about Mae’s addictive personality, beginning with a Bette Midler obsession before turning to comedy and then drug use. I get the feeling if she hadn’t discovered the massively witty Bette Midler, Mae might had turned out a lot more earnest about her obsessions. I say this because the dedication she recalls in her Bette fandom strikes me to be that of an extremely serious kid. So I suppose we have Bette Midler to thank for the comedian Mae Martin we have today (and Wendy Martin – give it up for Wendy Martin).
Mae seems to have achieved a newfound maturity around her performance. She’s still the same Mae, but less apologetic. In fact if anything Dope reveals how much Mae has been holding back in the years she has been performing stand up, considering how personal all her shows seem to be. An extremely intelligent, quick and likeable performer, Mae manages to interact spontaneously with the audience while exerting impressive control over her show.
Seeing Dope has made me realise just how much control Mae seems to have on how vulnerable she actually is with an audience. Some of the stories she relates are ones she has touched upon in previous shows, but it seems she is ready now to be more intimate. Mae also sweetly makes the point that these experiences are all specific to her, some people can enjoy drugs and/or Bette Midler without ever losing control. Which is one of the reasons I like her shows so much, she’s addicted to making them so inclusive.
Mae Martin: Dope is at Laughing Horse @ City Cafe until 27th August at 20:00, for more information click here!