Chris Martin: This Show has a Soundtrack

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 09 Aug 2015

You can’t help but be intrigued by the concept here, although soundtrack buffs be warned, this show hardly goes OTT on the OST.

It does indeed boast an original soundtrack, commissioned from a composer acquaintance of Chris Martin’s (who hopefully didn’t think he was contributing to Coldplay’s new album), in order to add oomph to his observations. But that score proves to be more incidental music than a major theme, as Martin’s soundtrack-related material is really a pre-show short before the feature presentation.

The chirpy Londoner begins with some fun stuff about movie music and action flicks, but then largely ignores the background score as he embarks upon the major issue: his parents’ marriage. It’s a slightly jarring change of pace, but the subsequent tales prove to be surprisingly revealing, even moving – although thankfully the soundtrack remains schmaltz-free.

Martin is getting married soon, which gives him a clearer view of his folks’ often dysfunctional relationship; sometimes literally, through the patio doors, as he currently lives in a shed at the bottom of their garden. Decent gags pepper the narrative, but what really resonates is the comic’s rare insight into the travails of a lengthy marriage. Sometimes the trailer doesn’t fit the film.

As for that accompanying soundtrack, it’s a wonder that incidental music hasn’t become more commonplace in comedy. Tom Stade’s show And Relax tried something similar a few years back, and it works rather well, taking the pressure off punchlines and removing those awkward between-routine silences. They might all be doing it next year.