What do you do with a bad idea? Most will lock it away, hide it and hope it’s never uncovered. The Fringe, however, welcomes these ideas with open arms. In a delightfully inventive concept, comic Mark Watson invites a variety of comedians and guests to try out their half-thought out brain babies. Will all of them be good? No chance, but are they all bad ideas? That’s up to you to find out.

Joining Mark Watson tonight is the equally talented Tiff Stevenson who has a trio of ‘bad’ ideas to share with us. It’s here that we see cracks with the show. Of the three ideas, the first, ‘The Bridget Trump Diaries’, is droll but a tad on the wordy side. The second ‘Lost Autobiographies’ routine sums up the show as a whole perfectly: hit or miss. But finally, ‘Geezer Reviews’, in which the audience shouts out film titles for Stevenson and Watson to review as London taxi drivers, is a smash hit.

The real difficulty in evaluating this kind of performance is that every night is unique, which creates a conundrum for any reviewer. The overall concept is quite brilliant, offering a truly blank canvas which can generate fantastic buzz or a side-splitting show. The reverse is that attendees may end up with an unthought out routine from an unfamiliar guest. Far from a bad idea, but be wary of the coin toss involved with your enjoyment.

Words: Dominic Corr

Mark Watson’s Festival of Bad Ideas, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 17-27, 10.45pm

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