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Matt Green: Truth & Pleasure – Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Nione Meakin

It’s hard to imagine anyone would leave this show disappointed. It is as solidly satisfying as a carb-laden Fringe dinner. But, to extend the analogy far further than it warrants, it's also lacking in piquancy.

Green is a self-styled nerd who structures his show by way of a neat flipchart that details the topics he will be talking about -  money, pets, work etc. After some expert audience foreplay, which reveals a caustic wit not quite realised in the actual material, he gets going.

Seemingly mundane starting points – shatterproof rulers, computer passwords, schooldays – are worked up into commendable nuggets, thanks to Green's toolkit of exaggeration, anthropomorphism and out-and-out melodrama. He's got a good line in pithy similies – there's a lovely description of empty Woolworths stores haunting our high streets 'like cut-price Banquos'  - and the nous to wring extra value out of them by poking fun at his own geekery.

He tells a decent yarn too; a peculiar episode involving a rat, a bin and a very surprised member of the public is made all the more hilarious by the anticlimatic ending which no one could have foreseen, but everyone appears to relish.

There is a tendency, however, for Green to over-do his shtick. As he himself admits, after a muted response to a particularly smart wordplay: ‘That joke is more clever than funny... but it is clever.’And the white boy rapper gag with which he concludes his show has already been done by Dan Antopolski and others – and, unfortunately, Antopolski does it better.

There are virtually no lows in this set and Green proves himself an adept comic, it's just that the highs could do with being slightly higher.

Review date: 20 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Nione Meakin

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