Matthew Crosby: AdventureParty
- Brian Donaldson
- 8 August 2011
This article is from 2011.
A safe and hilarious haven for geeks and nerds
Any fears that Matthew Crosby would be exposed under the Fringe glare without the back-up of his showbiz buddies have been put resolutely to bed with this debut solo effort, the distinctly Pappy’s-esque entitled AdventureParty. Let’s get one thing straight off the bat: just because he wears glasses (which he gently taps back into place at furiously regular intervals), has facial fuzz and dresses like a nerdy-geek (‘schoolboy chic’ Crosby calls it) doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a manchild riddled with petty obsessions and hampered by social awkwardness. Except, of course, that is exactly what he is.
And this terrain is where he sows his most fertile comedic seeds all over the floor of the Pleasance Cellar. As if you hadn’t guessed already, the show is motored with the aid of PowerPoint, which he uses to devastatingly caustic and humorous effect. He introduces matters with a B-feature about Victorian men, analyses the differences between himself and that other favourite son from his home borough of Bromley (it’s Charles Darwin and there are a lot of differences) and witheringly chastises anyone who still has a hotmail account.
But his fascination with Nando’s lifts everything to a whole new level of hysteria. At first, you think it is simply a set-up for one quick gag, but soon (and quite scarily) his intense affair with the Portuguese chicken chain is revealed and built upon, leg by bone by breast. A show like this would not be complete without elements of self-deprecation, but again Crosby hikes it up, happy to fully flagellate himself by allowing us to stare at a series of his fashion statements down the years (what’s not to like about his Racist Roundhead period?) As if all that wasn’t enough, the quality of Crosby’s audience chit-chat might be difficult to beat this August. But then, who else is going to have a front row littered with nerds and geeks?
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug (not 16), 4.45pm, £9.50–£12 (£8–£10.50).