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Matt Price

Matt Price

Cornish-born, Cardiff-based Matt Price is officially the UK's first New Deal comedian. Having been on the dole for two years, he applied for the financial support of the Government’s New Deal scheme to help him launch his stand-up career - and was accepted. Before comedy, he also had a short career in boxing, and wrote a book on the subject.

He was resident MC of Cardiff's Yellow Kangaroo Comedy Club for 18 months, and then took over at the city’s Wharf comedy club. He was also a finalist in the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year competition in 2004.

Price planned to take his debut solo show, The Nimble Mammoth to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2006, but arrived in the Scottish capital to find that his venue didn't exist, so spent the month compering gigs.

Matt Price Videos

Reviews

Original Review:

When it comes to low-key charisma and innate likeability, few comics are in the same league as Matt Price. This bulky Cornish exile has the quiet confidence to be able to impose his authority on an audience without noise or fuss, but simply gets on with the job of being himself.

Such poise and presence work to impressive yet subtle effect in the stories he tells, as he is able, with apparently little effort, to reel in the listener until they hang on his every word.

It helps that the subjects he covers are interesting, too, and often laced with more than a hint of poignant melancholy. The best are tales from the world of boxing, which he researched for a book and briefly participated in, as well as the conflicts between his gay day and militant feminist mum.

Fascinating as these tales are, there is a question mark over comedy element. Price’s storytelling skills are superb, but drawing out the humour of the situations proves more difficult. He tends to tag on a throwaway one-liner, sometimes even a corny pun, which rarely does justice to the lovely yarn that precedes it.

He is, in short, much better at the journey than the destination; and briefer tales geared toward a punchline fare less well than his more nebulous musings.

Whether any of this matters is a moot point, given his ability to thoroughly engage an audience without resort to gags. Expect something engrossing, and you’ll enjoy his set; expect belly laughs and you might be left wanting. Date of review: Feb 2008

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