Amy Mason: Free Mason @ The Walrus, Brighton, UK, May 8, 2024 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, May 21st, 2024  

Amy Mason

Amy Mason

Amy Mason: Free Mason @ The Walrus, Brighton, UK, May 8, 2024,

May 15, 2024 Photography by Jain Edwards Web Exclusive
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Sometimes, when at a gig, you have to realise how special it is. How, in the not-too-distant future, the artist you are seeing won’t be playing in such intimate rooms. I had this last night when watching comedian Amy Mason’s work in progress show “Free Mason” as part of the Brighton Festival. The room was tiny, and full, but the laughs were loud and booming. The beauty of a work in progress show is that it gives the comedian a chance to road test their new material before taking it out on the road properly. It’s like listening to the demos of your favourite songs. Sometimes the melody is slightly different, but most of the time everything is there it just needs to be road tested. This was the case at The Walrus. The show was a tight 60-minutes with little that felt out of place.

In about a decade Mason has written two books, performed at the Edinburgh Festival twice, and amassed over ten million views on TikTok. Not bad, is it? Her new show “Free Mason” sees Mason reflecting on life in your forties. The whirlwind of romance, marriage and children, then what happens when it all starts to go wrong. Being a single parent. Coming out and then coming out to your children. And how you pick yourself up and start again. Work. Dating. School WhatsApp groups. It’s all there. And it’s glorious to see her turn the mundane into something hilarious and life affirming. There is a reason why Mason is being shouted out by Radio 1’s Greg James. Why she’s appearing at the Edinburgh Festival again, being asked to appear on panel shows and writing pilots for TV shows that could change the zeitgeist. At one point she spoke how having children cause sleep deprivation and about Margaret Thatcher who famously only slept four hours a night. “With an extra three-hour thing might have been different” Mason said, “She might have been hugging sheep, getting some dreads in her hair. After an hour’s sleep, I was three seconds away from invading Argentina myself”. Another point she talks about how on a drive to school she came out to her daughter. After explaining what Section 28 meant when she was growing up, how she has trans friends, and they know same sex couples she asked her daughter if she has any questions. Her daughter replied, “Why are we at Asda?”. It’s jokes like this that showcase her wit and timing. At one point Mason talks about how sheep are homosexual “You wouldn’t call sheep queer, would you?” she says, before explaining that the males just ram each other, whereas the females stand alone in the field, waiting for another lesbian sheep to approach them, but they never do as that isn’t how females mate. “It sounds like a better life than some of the lesbians I know” she jokes “Lots of fresh air and exercise”.

Amy Mason
Amy Mason

Mason’s comedy isn’t rapid fire. It isn’t all set up like dominos. So that with a flick of her finger it all comes tumbling down, lightning fast, and the final payoff isn’t as impressive as the set up. No. Her comedy is something better. Far more enjoyable. It’s clever, but not smug. You have to pay attention because you never know if something she says as a throwaway line will have a deeper significance later in the show, or be a pay off to a bigger, more important joke. Only time will tell if the material in tonight’s show will end up being the finished show, but it felt pretty finished to the audience. Free Mason? Nah, mate she’s already free and running wild!


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