Matty Hutson: Don\'t Hold Back | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Matty Hutson: Don\'t Hold Back

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Gentle musical comedian Matty Hutson has very much not heeded the advice of his ironic title. He’s a slightly shy, quiet guy from Warrington, who conveys a tender optimism that things will work out for the best for him. 

In his 30s and a bit insular, he laments on the crushing awkwardness of trying to meet people. Several of his languid songs have loneliness at their heart as he describes his extreme attempts to make friends. 

Him joining a drill rap crew is clearly a gag (though it pulls his music out of the strumalong singer-songwriter vibe that otherwise prevails), but his attending a sex party sounds more credible, at least in the set-up– especially as he stayed on-brand by admitting he was hardly an enthusiastic, active participation in the debauchery. As with most of his tracks, sincerity is ultimately undermined with a punchline.

He does vary the style and pace, even if he doesn’t have the energy to commit to the livelier episodes. Several quickies imagining the subjects of songs such as Jolene or Stacy’s Mom answering back are the funniest moments, while a drum-and-bass Bob Dylan is a fun example of the sort of mashups Bill Bailey excels in.

The deconstruction of crowdwork, with stock answers programmed into a soundboard, is not an original idea, but it’s nicely executed, with the putdowns delivered in an electronic sing-song, highlighting the formulaic, robotic nature of so much stand-up banter that dominates social media.

However, not everything works. A surreal diversion about Ramesses III emerging from his bathroom mirror doesn’t belong in the show, or anywhere really, being just a random meander. And the hippy-dippy-trippy song about us all being multi-dimensional spirit beings, though tongue-in-cheek, can’t escape the vapidity of such woo-woo.

But through thick and thin, there’s a warmth to Hutson’s low-key performance that means he does win friends over the hour, even if it may dissipate in the wind as soon as we’ve left the venue.

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Review date: 13 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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