2012 Melbourne Fringe:
• Mark Butler: Words Swallower

Posted on 05 October 2012

The title of Mark Butler’s show Words Swallower may lead people to suspect that it’s about interesting words, word etymology, or even the grammatical use of words. Well, in a way, it is. But the words Butler offers us as interesting, and their history and usage, are those he made up himself when he was a child.

Butler discovered that by inventing funny words, through laughter he could keep other kids at school on side and avoid being bullied. Add to this a stifling home-life. The height of literature there being the British tabloid The Sun. To survive he wrote his own little dictionary: the words humorously expressing all the anger, frustration, and cheekiness a pre-teen can muster.

Of the numerous comedy shows I have already seen at Melbourne Fringe this year, this is the first show to radiate real warmth. Butler has a friendly and engaging presence. He could be anyone’s favourite uncle. His anecdotes and jokes have a delightful universal quality to them.

I love comedy that attracts mixed audiences. I love the way it unites people like a family Christmas party. Butler achieved that with his material. I had the feeling he usually works with people his own age, but this sort of breadth makes your work more enduring in the minds of your fans. Keep at it Mark!

For a night of happy silly fun Mark Butler’s Words Swallower is where you want to be.

Mark Butler: Words Swallower Melbourne Fringe Website

Peace and kindness,


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