FROM A REVIEW OF THE 2ND 'WORKING FROM HOME' LIVE STREAM EVENT BY KATE COPSTICK (feared and revered reviewer for The Scotsman during Edfringe)
Darrell Martin is unexpectedly watchable as MC/tech of this online comedy format. Rumpled, vague and frequently bewildered by the tech, he hosts one headliner, a couple of character sketches and a virtual Green Room of three comics. Great idea. And coming from a good place. It is obvious that MC Martin just wants to do some good, proper comedy that might just offer a way forward in the midst of the absolute fucking fiasco in which we find ourselves.
Darrell is great - genuine, engaging, with great taste in music and a desire to do something 'proper' but relaxed enough to live online. The show only exists as a live stream, which is a nice twist. So it has that 'you had to be there' thing going for it.
The character sketches are a nice idea to break up the show.
The brains (cough cough) behind all things Just the Tonic.
Darrell started Just the Tonic Comedy Club in The Old Vic in Nottingham in 1994.
SInce then he has gone on to perform at many clubs around the UK and abroad. He has compered shows in Edinburgh, supported Rich Hall, Ed Byrne and Johnny Vegas on national tours.
Just the Tonic has grown into one of the most respected chains of comedy clubs in the country, despite Darrell. It also has a large presence at The Edfringe Festival (with over 180 shows a day for 24 days in 2019). Just the Tonic also has a large presence at Leicester Comedy Festival.
After being selected to appear in Big Value Comedy Show in 1999, he was later asked to produce the show. Over the years this showcase has helped Just the Tonic play an active part in the spotting of and early promoting of many of the big acts of today, such as Sarah Millican, Jason Manford, Romesh Ranganathan, Jon Richardson Jim Jeffries and many others.
The short lived management company MAVERICK MANAGEMENT was set up after Darrell helped Wil Hodgson to win Perrier Best Newcomer and also had acts such as Josie Long, Charlie Baker and Keith Carter
As a performer his approach is to chat and muck about with the audience, never wanting to go down the path of tried and tested material. No compere set is the same. He does this because otherwise he'd bore himself... plus he never liked people that used chat up lines and that is what performing rehearsed comedy feels like to him.
"In this age of touchy feely confessional comedy' it"s nice to see a comedian that"s not afraid to be heartless" The Scotsman
Darrell is great - genuine, engaging, with great taste in music and a desire to do something 'proper' but relaxed enough to live online' Kate Copstick