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A British bloke’s guide to being a man

Carol Flavell Neist

A storyteller rather than a comic, Matt Price never loses his audience as he moves from outrageously funny to the frighteningly serious.
A British bloke’s guide to being a man

Matt Price is something of an enigma. A storyteller rather than a comic, he moves from the outrageously funny to the rather frighteningly serious and holds the audience’s attention the entire hour-and-a-half it takes him to do it.

Cornish born, he has wisely adopted a London accent. In comedic circles, Cornish-speak has long been associated with rural knuckleheads who sound like pirates, with constant arghs and occasional expletives. Mind you, Price can send up Cornish with the best of them, and he also does a good Geordie and an even better Glaswegian. This talent for accents is one of his great strengths as a comedian. I hope he takes the opportunity to learn Strine while he’s in the Land of Oz,

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At over two metres tall and weighing over 130kg, Price does not look like a mild-mannered anything. Yet he comes across as a gentle, even slightly insecure person who likes a laugh. This is not, I think, a stage persona. It is Price in the raw, and we can only admire his bravery in sharing his intimate thoughts and fears. In doing so, he is not only offering suggestions to British Blokes on how to be men, but perhaps to all of us on how to be human.

Price gives us some really good laughs. Like many cabaret comics, he takes the micky out of latecomers and jokes about jobs he’s had. There was much hilarity and a little poignancy in his tale about working in a fish factory and eventually becoming ‘one of the boys’. He knew he’d made it on that front when his workmates sliced open the soles of his work boots so his feet got sodden on the wet factory floor!

That’s only one slice of his strange and varied acquaintanceship. He opens one yarn with ‘Don’t be friends with a dominatrix if you’re under assertive,’ and then proceeds to tell a tale of woe about how he once found himself sitting with a whip in one hand and a chocolate penis in the other at a sex toys convention.

This segues into his recollection of criminal acquaintances. He shares his experience of talking to 60 paranoid schizophrenics in a hospital for the criminally insane, which segues to a chat about the time he seemed to fall into an unwanted acquaintanceship with the Turkish Mafia. This was quite a lengthy segment and by the time it ended there was more horror than humour in the spot. Although Price closed on a relatively cheerful note, I do think this part of the act was a little too long. It would go over better, methinks, with a longer, more upbeat close. ‘Always send them out on a high’ is a maxim worth keeping if you’re billed under the banner of comedy, even if you’re Matt Price, arguably one of the most gifted yarn spinners on the circuit.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Matt Price’s A British Bloke’s Guide to being a man
The Moon, Northbridge

Fringe World, Perth
www.fringeworld.com.au
2-5 February

Also appearing at the Adelaide Fringe from 13 Feburary - 1 March.
What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author


Carol Flavell Neist has written reviews and feature articles for The Australian, The West Australian, Dance Australia, Music Maker, ArtsWest and Scoop. She was reviews editor for the now defunct Specusphere magazine and, writing as Satima Flavell, has also published poetry and fantasy fiction.

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