Puzzled

Matthew Collins, from what I could gather from this one hour performance, is a generally lovely Irishman who can be genuinely funny and witty. Alas, his show just wasn’t particularly thrilling.

A hairy nerd – my favourite kind of nerd – Collins does not shy away from who he is, but instead embraces it and has built his show around his personality. I have the utmost respect for that and the audience appreciated him for who he was. He did keep mentioning that, though – ‘but I am who I am’ – almost as some kind of excuse for the particularly nerdy jokes. This got annoying after a while and there was really no need for it; the show would have been much slicker if he wasn’t excusing himself for his own material.

It’s a shame that the audience didn’t seem so enamoured with Collins’ interests as he was. There were times the clock would slowly drag onward, sadly marching on through ‘funny’ maths and slinky jokes. Of course it wasn’t all bad, Collins absolutely had a few well thought out jokes, but the effort put into them was tangible. It was easy to picture him struggling to write them, building very exact ways to move from gag to gag. The performance was perhaps overly contrived and stilted, although has so much potential to be a smooth and quirky show. Collins just needs to take the apologetic edge away and work on his linking material for his show to be any better. There’s definite comedy talent there and I’d be very much interested to see him again in a few years.

Performances

The Blurb

This is the story of the fickle nature of fame and how one puzzle-obsessed nerd tries to solve the greatest puzzle of all ... the human heart. As seen on BBC NI and Radio 4's Great Unanswered Questions. www.freefestival.co.uk