Matt Kirshen (4 stars)

  • 8 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

Lookíng like someone who couldn’t buy alcohol without flashing a passport must be annoying, especially when you’re 26. Combine that with a visage that can’t express any other emotion than happiness or contentment, and you have the basis for a comedy act. Matt Kirshen riffs on how the face isn’t much use in poker games, but does ensure cheap clothes and half-fare travel on public transport. He is occasionally guilty of exploring familiar subjects - student life, mobile phones, the current favourite of satellite navigation systems in cars - but his eye is beady, and consistently mines new material. Living under house arrest; mobile networks which juvenile criminals should be on; why the sat nav leads him to abandoned car parks against his will.

Despite describing himself as a ‘compulsive faffer’ in a sequence debunking trendy syndromes, he’s confident and relaxed with a microphone, and his skill with the crowd is such that he’s able to slip a few paedophile jokes into the middle of the set; observations that draw laughs because they’re so bloody obviously true once he’s said them. Kirshen has talent aplenty, and with a couple more years’ experience is likely to scale the heights. (Robin Lee)

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 28 Aug (not 15), 9.30pm, £8"£9 (£6.50"£7.50).

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