Comedy review: Mae Martin is Dope

Stephanie Tee is enamoured with the self-deprecating comedian


Image credit: Ed Moore


Oxford’s Glee Club recently hosted the first night of Mae Martin’s national tour. A dull Tuesday in October was perhaps not the best start and Mae made much of this in the first half of the show. Self-revelation has stepped up a gear and the audience enjoyed many glorious moments of physical comedy as she parodied her younger self.


Dope is of course dopamine which she describes as a slumbering shrimp. Her shrimp “woke up” for Bette Midler and her adoration of La Bette was an extended comedy thread chain-stitching its way through the evening. Her insecurities were revealed often, and we wondered whether that was just part of her schtick, but no, she was heard seeking re-assurances from audience members in the interval.


Hocus Pocus was her entry drug into Bette addiction – the witch film that “woke my shrimp”, (and perhaps helped me realise I was bi), was the Witches Of Eastwick. Susan Sarandon was my Bette Midler. And in my fantasies when Susan was busy with Cher, Michelle and Jack were keeping each other happy too.


In Dope, Mae is saying some important things about addiction, the nature of comedy, family relationships and bi identity. She talked about actually making out with a guy who would check that she was “really ok with this?” and when questioned he said, “cos you’re gay”. The experience of having one’s identity questioned to such an extent is familiar to most bisexuals. Thank you, Mae, for making it funny!


I have heard Mae compare herself to Justin Bieber, a sweetcorn and now Niall Horan – the blonde one from One Direction – but lately she’s reminding me of a young Eddie Izzard. Comedically though she’s still her old self-deprecating self – “I’ve only sold, like, two tickets in Hull”.


I would urge everyone to go along to one of her shows, not necessarily in Hull, and not just because she seems to be talking about being bi more and more. But Mae, if you’re reading this – the bi community sees you.




Mae Martin is playing at a venue near you. See for dates.


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