Is Martin Creed for real? Is he genuinely a bumbling, awkward, tongue-tied, angst ridden geek or is this all a well-honed persona?
Heâ€™s certainly successful as an artist – Turner prize winner, architect of the colourful Scotsman steps, well revered among the cognoscenti. He plays a rousing guitar, sings witty little ditties of his own creation, and offers sharp insights into the tortured world of one who overthinks. He canâ€™t say yes, he canâ€™t say no, he distrusts how he feels and canâ€™t handle emotions. Whatever happens he feels guilty.
In many ways his rambling anecdotal style (and accent) are very Billy Connolly, but he lacks Billyâ€™s hearty guffaw that lets us know itâ€™s all exaggeration, a good story. To begin with you feel as though youâ€™ve been trapped with the party bore. He stutters, he mumbles, he loses the thread – surely no one so inept would even want to be on stage? He must be having us on. The audience is slow to respond. It takes a long time for a song to be given applause. A lot of the set is met by silence. Then we seem to get him…
And this is like his own Turner prize moment – the light bulb comes on. Heâ€™s having a laugh at our expense , but wants us to laugh with him. The audience warms to him, becomes more enthusiastic.
Is it successful as a show? Well, to quote right back at him, itâ€™s probably yes and no. He has even invented a word for this – nosey.
So thatâ€™s it – this is a nosey show. Curious to say the least.
5th-27th August 10.30pm. (Except 8,9,15 & 21 August).