Admirably bearded and remarkably young for a comic with so many years of experience, New Zealand native Rhys Mathewson delivers a somewhat complacent set at this year’s fringe.
Mathewson certainly has natural talent by the bucket load, but needs to take himself more seriously
After winning previous accolades such as the ‘New Zealand Comedy International Comedy Festival, Best Newcomer 2009’ among several others, Mathewson cultivates an aura of expectation, leaving the audience in anticipation of the comic stepping up and taking control of the direction of the show. Mathewson spends much of Hombre Loco distracted by the enormous food baby he is apparently fostering and talking about how funny his show may or may not be.
The young comic does put forward some strong material, however, with astute observations and a way of seeing everyday occurrences in a pseudo-analytical fashion, yet lacks real clout as he claims not to have opinions, which seems fairly contradictory for someone whose career fundamentally consists of addressing and entertaining a group of strangers.
Curiously, Mathewson’s material shines when he adopts tangential plotlines into his narrative, occasionally weaving unexpectedly hilarious twists into otherwise relatively crude storylines.
Despite never really getting off the ground, the show is punctuated with some witty interaction with the front row, and Mathewson manipulates some brilliant call-backs based on his rapport with the audience.
Mathewson certainly has natural talent by the bucket load, but needs to take himself more seriously and focus on the delivery of his material if he hopes to deliver a consistently entertaining comedy show.