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Carey Marx: The Afterwife

at The Liquid Room Annexe

* * - - -

Post-divorce show heavy on naughty words, light on anything more

Image of Carey Marx: The Afterwife

As the neatly punning title indicates, Marx‘s show is about his divorce and concurrent mid-life crisis, and it’s tempting to ascribe some of the lameness herein to the fact he’s not had the best year of it.

He’s taken up the guitar (part of his mid-life crisis) and while his strumming’s rudimentary, it’s probably sufficient to sustain a routine. But it’s quite a while here before we get an actual song. He welcomes us in, the charmer, with the musical assurance that if we don’t sit at the front, we’re a… complete your own rhyme. Otherwise for much of the first half, he just sets a spoken gag to a couple of bars or fidgets with it while delivering anecdotes. 

And they’re quite uninspired anecdotes at that – a self assemble bed disaster and walking into a lamppost. Amusing enough to tell work colleagues over morning coffee but not strong substance to build a stage show from.

Then once he gets going with the songs, there’s a lot of poo and shit and penises and vaginas. Maintaining a child-like sense of playfulness is what keeps us young, of course, but should a 51 year-old man be enjoying rude words with the enthusiasm of a 12 year old? One call and response number is about him being a piece of dog shit, and one is about people being cunts. They both let the sweariness do all the heavy lifting, with little else to commend them. A better number plays with English language ambiguities and shows a wit which could be used more often to break up the excessive lavatorial and anatomical humour.

All the way through he’s been telling us of his quest to learn Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen, and, excuse the spoiler, he has done. It provides a crowd-pleasing moment for the kind of audience who would have walked out when he was calling everyone cunts.

The middle-aged white male is a beleaguered beast in these circles at the moment, way out of fashion and easily mocked. An exemplar who could convey the perils of his predicament with charm and pathos would be a welcome rejoinder. Unfortunately, Marx goes for singing songs about another man having his penis inside his wife, thus confirming the boorishness that cliché expects of him. Perhaps he just needs time to re-find his mojo.

/ @peaky76


Robert is the Managing Editor of The Wee Review and has been writing for the site since early 2014. Previously, he was manager of the Yorkshire arts website, digyorkshire. He pays bills by working for a palliative care charity and lives in Edinburgh.

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