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Mat and Mackinnon

Note: This review is from 2002

Review by Steve Bennett

his is a classy and elegant show, developing every opportunity for originality, and seldom taking an easy or lazy option, until a genuine sense of unpredictability is established.

Mat and Mackinnon are clearly skilled actors, and display their talent in a series of well-crafted extended sketches. Their ideas are often complex but are so well-executed that the audience have little difficulty in enjoying the nuances and sharing the jokes. We are not patronised, insulted or lectured unlike so many shows that purport to be clever.

Some of the material works less well. The 'call and response' section, the emphasis on the boys' height difference and the difficulties of being called Bruce are a tad overplayed.

However, when the two get it right, they are funny as well as emotionally moving. Their understanding of friendship and the human condition is acute, as is their knowledge of the double-act mechanic and consummate timing.

A sketch in which Mackinnon plays himself and Mat an advertising executive is quite superb, a hugely elaborate, multi-layered gag that works on every level. The widowed husband skit is also beautifully written and played.

Mat's comic timing and Mackinnon's straight man complement each other in a rare combination that remind us that two heads can be better than one. The out-takes that follow this sketch are again well performed and demonstrate the type of lateral thinking that some of the finest humour is born of.

There are plenty of throwaway gags, especially in another hilarious sketch about the ludicrous brand names that products are often required to have.

The duo's careful interplay and capable acting skills are to the fore throughout the full 60 minutes, a fact reflected in the audience's clear enjoyment of the perfomance.

The M and M show is a real treat.

Reviewed by: Margaret Ishola

Review date: 1 Aug 2002
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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