Mat Ewins Will Make You A Star | Review by Paul Fleckney
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Mat Ewins Will Make You A Star

Note: This review is from 2016

Review by Paul Fleckney

Here’s fun. For his latest show, Mat Ewins, stand-up and tech whizz, is giving an acting seminar that will 'make you a star'. For such an unoriginal concept, it’s a show brimming with invention and gags. His stock-in-trade is the visual joke on a projector, and he’s got loads of them.

There are very funny spoofs of Crocodile Dundee and the titles of a US TV drama, but there are also some brilliant out-and-out gags too, like his comedy zoetrope and his take down of improv comedy. I also loved his manipulated version of the famous Buster Keaton house-falling-onto-him scene: simple and so effective.

There’s also a nice quick-quick-slow feel to it. For some of the jokes, Ewins steps back and allows us to find the gag, letting the laughter spread slowly like a virus as each person gets around to reading the text onscreen. Firstly on his grandfather’s Wikipedia page, later on with the classified ads when you’re looking for an apartment in Hollywood.

Ewins comes across as a comic who can’t help but joke. I think it’s because of the amount he packs in, and the ironic disparity between his sincere presentation and the joke that’s playing out onscreen. He’s a gagster, a prankster, always looking for the funny and playing dumb. He’s probably a nightmare to live with, but he does a cracking Edinburgh show.

There’s some larking about with the camera too, as he enlists an audience member to do a little acting, winds them up with the zoom then stitches them up with the final product. The show moves into his own story of trying to make it, the drugs binges, breakdowns and an attempt to kill himself (which is another very funny filmlet). The show does peter out a little – there’s a piece on a cocaine baby which I don’t think really works – but it’s brought back with a clever ending that reprises the previous crowd work.

Despite some tech gremlins on the night I was there, the show rips along. You have the feeling a gag is coming along at any second, and yet it doesn’t feel overcrowded in the slightest. It’s an extremely easy show to like.

Review date: 23 Aug 2016
Reviewed by: Paul Fleckney
Reviewed at: The Hive

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