Sometimes in comedy, as in life, things don’t go as planned.
This is a master comic story-teller at the height of his powers, who entrances and doesn’t release you from the spell until the hour is up
Comedian Matt Price was just about to tell all eight of us, upstairs at The Quadrant, why life coaches are ‘fucking idiots’ when the audience suddenly tripled as a flurry of latecomers bagged seats at the back. As you might expect from someone who, when not performing, also teaches the ‘post-modern art of interactive narrative stand-up’, Matt focused attention onto the newbies.
He picked up his mic for the first time that evening, acknowledging the change in atmosphere, and proceeded to pick on individuals with sharp and funny personal observations. An expert at bonding, Matt had everyone cracking up in no time, quickly drawing the whole room into his yarn.
However, when yet another latecomer arrived, daring to nonchalantly answer back our uber-engaging host, Matt spontaneously abandoned his story altogether. He may have joined the party late, but audience member Sam sat alone vaping provocatively and casually mentioned that his Mum’s dog’s penis was poorly. This was a gift Matt couldn’t ignore. Our storyteller left the stage asking us to turn our chairs around to witness his conversation with Sam, which he neatly worked into an anecdote about a one-time gig, entertaining psychopathic serial killers at Broadmoor. The gags kept coming as he moulded his material to this ‘mixed ability’ group.
The advertised show was called The Weed Fairy and purported to be a story about the time Matt’s pensioner Dad got mixed up in illegal gardening - but no such story came. Instead we were treated to an unpredictable hour of hilarious room-working.
Matt had fessed up earlier to his natural unassertiveness: a problem that once got him into an unlikely job as a bodyguard to a dominatrix. This same lack of resistance served him well as he just went with the flow of a lively Brighton audience. We never did find out about his Dad and the weed, but we were so involved in the jokes and pointed commentary on his growing relationship with us that it didn’t matter.
This is a master comic story-teller at the height of his powers, who entrances and doesn’t release you from the spell until the hour is up; a courageous tour de force executed with skill and precision.