Martin Creed’s Words and Music

Is Martin Creed for real? Is he genuinely a bumbling, awkward, tongue-tied, angst ridden geek or is this all a well-honed persona?

He’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 can’t say yes, he can’t say no, he distrusts how he feels and can’t handle emotions. Whatever happens he feels guilty.

In many ways his rambling anecdotal style (and accent) are very Billy Connolly, but he lacks Billy’s hearty guffaw that lets us know it’s all exaggeration, a good story. To begin with you feel as though you’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. He’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, it’s probably yes and no. He has even invented a word for this – nosey.

So that’s it – this is a nosey show. Curious to say the least.


The Studio
5th-27th August 10.30pm. (Except 8,9,15 & 21 August).


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