Mat Ewins: Mat Ewins Will Make You a Star

Sometimes you just have to marvel at the myriad ways you can be made to laugh. There’s funny noises, stupid faces, one-liners, calling an audience member a paedophile, the list goes on. Throughout the course of this show, Mat Ewins tries his best to showcase them all. It’s astounding how many different ways the man finds to make us laugh. He does stand-up, physical comedy, films audience members, uses pre-recorded audio cues and more. Crucially, it’s all extremely funny.

The show is a mash-up of media, stand-up and ad-libs that never fails to surprise. It’s practically its own genre. Ewins is as good off-script as on, and often he seemed to pull the funniest response to any given mishap or heckle possible. There’s enormous energy and momentum churning under the surface.

It’s very tech-heavy, and impressively so. There’s rarely a minute that goes by without an audio clip, an edited image, or video forming the crux of a joke. The deliberately poor quality of the technical integration is a great running joke, among many. In fact there’s maybe over half a dozen excellent running jokes throughout the show, several of them involving audience members in inventive, impishly mean-spirited ways.

Ewins himself, an irrepressibly likeable arsehole, is a peculiar figure. It’s almost impossible to discern what is stage persona and what is him, but his facial exaggerations and goofy, ironic delivery are impossible to dislike. He’s got a hysterically mordant way with the crowd, but manages to remain completely amiable the whole time, even in his meanest moments. It may not be clear how much of it is put on, but it is obviously in jest, and there’s a warmness to the ad-lib put-downs that most comics can’t manage.

There’s almost no complaints to be had here, whenever momentum seemed to drop, Ewins accelerated expertly, turning every blunder into its funniest version. This is a showcase of some of the most inventive and unique humour at the Fringe. I wouldn’t dare spoil anymore, and this is a must-see show as far I’m concerned. It’s cheeky, stupid, smart, surreal, and I genuinely can’t remember not laughing throughout.

★★★★★

Keiran Burnett

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