With thousands of shows out there, Rhys Mathewson’s show title is a clever one. It is certainly an attention grabber. It also ties in with one of the show’s gimmicks. For every joke that Mathewson tells, the audience gets to vote, calling out ‘pound up’, if the joke is a good one; Mathewson then sticks a sign saying ‘£1’ on the board to add to the final total.
It definitely takes guts to put such faith in your ability to make back an audience’s money in laughs, especially for a newcomer at the Fringe. However, this young New Zealand comedian quickly demonstrates that he has no qualms about taking the more ‘provocative’ route with his comedy – his material definitely treads more on the controversial side.
From the word go, Mathewson comes out guns a-blazing. He opened the show with an extremely ill-timed joke that was very audacious and a little too bawdy for an early evening crowd – probably not the best way to start. It was definitely a foolhardy opening but he recovered admirably and was able to move on.
Mathewson is extremely quick-witted, enthusiastic and just a bundle of happiness, even when things go wrong. It becomes clear that nothing embarrasses or fazes him and this is his greatest strength – he is a fearless comedian.
He proves throughout the show that he is not afraid to push the boundaries of comedy. His material is honest, brash and deliciously self-deprecating. There is no one quite like him currently in the circuit and I thought he used his outsider perspective to his advantage and not as a gimmick.
The concept of the show is an interesting one – Mathewson words it best by describing it as a ‘proper interactive show’. Due to the subjective nature of the audience participation, there is an unpredictable air to the show that makes quite exciting and intriguing.
Not all of his material worked with the crowd but his resilience and jocular personality is what saved the show. This alone I believe is worth to be the tenner, but why not go and decide for yourself.