Matthew Crosby: Smaller Than Life
- Brian Donaldson
- 26 August 2015
This article is from 2015.
The feelgood factor is off the scale in this Pappy’s lad’s new hour
With his gang back together again this Fringe, it seems that a Pappy’s-esque playfulness has been injected back into Matthew Crosby’s solo work. It’s easy to imagine any of that trio dancing around with tops off and a Vladimir Putin mask on their face as the bearded, bespectacled and recently married member of the troupe does for Smaller Than Life. He is slightly wary of his image now, the English teacher look having been appropriated by the hipster community.
Crosby’s Putin-baiting isn’t just a random prank, it’s culled from his recent holiday in Moscow where he was treated to a trip to the circus and advised not to look too happy in public. For someone brimful of utter bonhomie, this must have been a torturous experience. Crosby’s audience work is involved but never mean-spirited, so when he finds a genuine Russian Putin fan in the crowd, the stakes become temporarily raised, only for Crosby’s desire to bring everyone together winning the day (this come in the context of him gently mocking the Scots at the very beginning).
Even a staunchly non-political comic like Crosby chucks his tuppenceworth in for an ISIS line while he’s on safer, sillier ground with some terrifically bad ventriloquism. Pappy’s may be back in town but a trip to Matthew Crosby won’t leave you feeling short-changed.
Just the Tonic at The Mash House, 226 0000, until 30 Aug, 7.40pm, £5.