Thu 23rd Apr 2020 - 9:30pm
Fri 24th Apr 2020 - 9:30pm
I was supposed to be the only gay in my family but first my sister ruined it and now.. my dad? Let me tell you about the craziest year of my life.
A new hour of comedy from one of NZ's best, Eli Matthewson.
Winner, Director's Award - NZ International Comedy Festival 2019
Head Writer - Have You Been Paying Attention NZ
⋆⋆⋆⋆ "He’d mop the floor with most the recent Live At The Apollo box tickers and panel show space blockers" - Chortle
CHORTLE - FOUR STARS
Edinburgh Fringe review by Julia Chamberlain
Eli Matthewson delivers an apparently effortless hour of ungimmicky stand-up with splendid gags – all-too rare on the Fringe, where often a waffly chat and a lot of brass neck can constitute a show.
He spoke at quite a clip, managing to combine a New Zealand drawl and an impressive number of words per minute. Doing the millennial thing of complaining about ageing now that he’s turned 30 (oh, please), he reflected on his ‘eco prefect’ role at school, which still informs his life choices, though not sufficiently to stop him boarding a plane to fly halfway around the round to do Edinburgh and produce a gazillion unrecyclable flyers. But he called himself out on this, and we all have our inconsistencies. It’s part of the appeal of his set – completely relatable and refreshingly unpredictable.
There are a few shows this year which have climate anxiety references, and this one rubbed up against them entertainingly enough. Matthewson also addressed a strict Christian upbringing, religious summer camp and then losing his faith, being gay. He covered a lot of hot topics in unfamiliar ways, and let us into his family life, recounting stories of impoverished but happy Christmases. Any chunk of this would be an acceptable 20 minutes in a club, or even shorter on TV. He’d mop the floor with most the recent Live At The Apollo box tickers and panel show space blockers.
Personable, entertaining sharp-witted and humane, Eli Matthewson should garner some new fans from this festival. If there’s any justice in the world someone will give him a leg-up on the British touring circuit toot sweet.
Review date: 12 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain
Reviewed at: Underbelly George Square
NZ HERALD - FOUR STARS
Heavily themed shows have been a regular fixture on the Comedy Festival for some time now. At the first festival I reviewed four years ago, it seemed every single local show I went to had some kooky concept that either ingeniously merged sketch and stand-up or collapsed under a ludicrous idea.
Eli Matthewson had one such show then, an hour of stand-up and sketch blurred together under the banner of mocking and exploring internet culture. He was as talented then as he is now, but the show itself was too disjointed and without a proper storyline to work effectively.
I was a little apprehensive walking in to Myths and Legends, which is based around the hook of Matthewson using his Classics degree for the first time professionally. It's a topic the likes of Eddie Izzard have mined successfully in the past, but I had a fretful mental image of this being some jokey-university lecture.
Thankfully, Matthewson avoids falling into that trap. The Greek gods and his university degree are used as a springboard for a menagerie of topics, ranging from porn to millennial culture to, most prominently, growing up Christian and gay.
Matthewson is a talented and clever stand-up, and excels when working with an hour of sharply honed material. He has taken an easily marketable idea and twisted it perfectly, seen best when contrasting mythology and Christianity. I wish that element had been the sole focus, as personal stories always make a show more unique but many of them here, such as growing up gay and Christian, are glossed over due to the various other topics that get touched on.
Yet, even though the other jokes do diverge drastically from the theme, the majority still work wonders. A detailed aside involving British reality TV and The Chase are ultimately side-notes to the overall storyline, but Matthewson's perfect delivery and wicked imagination ensures they still feel necessary. A wonderfully meta ending also subtly brings the show together in a tight package, an unexpected twist that lets all of Matthewson's best qualities as a stand-up and performer shine.
Structurally, Myths and Legends is a show of two halves, partly focused on the Classics elements on the poster and the rest of the time freewheeling through various witty observations. It still works cohesively thanks to Matthewson's captivating persona and bountiful comedic talents, neither of which require high concepts or wacky themes to leave the audience in stitches.
VOICE MAG - FOUR STARS
Eli Matthewson’s An Inconvenient Poof is slick, funny and controversial. The basis of his show centres around his navigation of becoming the best environmental activist he can be. From tree hugging for charity to legendary dinosaur related catchphrases, he covers an array of hilarious stories to amuse just about everyone.
You can tell Matthewson has become a seasoned pro as he seamlessly flows from section to section, expertly returning to gags that received a large reaction. He shares his experiences of being Head Environmental Prefect back in school to his endeavours in an adult store at 3 o'clock in the morning and just about everything else in between.
Eli Matthewson certainly knows how to work a room and has the audience relaxed and engaged from the offset. With moments of surprising crudity as he reflects upon his life experiences as a “short, gay, white man” - including his sex life, his quest to ensure everyone recycles their coffee cups correctly and an unusual smelling tree in his hometown of New Zealand.
He humorously covers typically controversial topics of religion and politics in a unique and hilarious way that will make you leave wanting to convert from your current religion to worshipping the Greek Gods. Whilst the idea of using comedy as a platform to use activism and discuss awkward subjects such as religion, he speaks with a slight satirical edge that makes you warm to his ideas and comic propositions.
An hour long comedy show packed with light hearted humour and a political kick that Matthewson executes with a confident air of professionalism, An Inconvenient Poof is sure to make you smile. If there's anything you take from this show: be more like the dinosaurs.
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