Monday, 20 August 2012

Angela Barnes and Matt Richardson ***

I took a punt on this show, not realising that I had seen Matt Richardson before doing a 10 minute open spot at the Laughing Horse Pick of the Fringe.

He buddies up with his comedy friend Angela Barnes - giving them both 30 minutes to do an extended set - with a view to them doing an hour each at the Fringe next year (as they mentioned in their show).

Matt Richardson opened and got going with some great anecdotes - as a 21 year old it's pretty much what you'd expect - a fair bit of wanking material, stories about still living at home and not living up to Dad's expectations - nothing new in the subject matter, but all very well delivered and well received by the audience.

Where I think Richardson really excels is in his crowd banter. A large chunk of the show was devoted to this and he managed each interaction well... even when he mistook a 15 year old girl and her father as a married couple, he managed to keep the audience on side. A lot of his material also relies on stories about interactions at previous shows, all of which gets a good response.

Matt Richardson definitely has all the ingredients needed to do a successful hour and more importantly he's young enough to be able to improve even more. Definitely one to watch for the future.

After 30 minutes it was time to hand over to Angela Barnes, who let's be fair to her, had a hard act to follow.

She managed well for the first fifteen minutes with some good gags and some self depreciating humour about being single that wasn't uncomfortable like it can be (her alternative take on the walk of shame is well worth remembering).

Towards the end though, she let herself down by the number of times she checked her watch (something Matt Richardson also wants to cut down on a bit) and also by constantly going to grab the mic stand as if to put the mic back and finish the set.... before continuing for another 30 seconds then checking the watch again, then fidgeting with the mic stand one more time.

I'm maybe being a little unfair on her, as at the start of the show she mentioned she was ill and also "off her tits" on tramadol due to a slipped disk, so you can understand her wanting to finish, but for me, the slow gradual finish with the unconscious "I want to get off here" body language instead of a build up to a great finale, was the difference between three and four stars.

Having said that, even with lurgy/back pain/drugs she was still a good solid act and if she can sort out her back pain and anxiousness about running over then I have no doubt she will be able to turn a good set into a great one.

This show is certainly worth seeing and I'm looking forward to seeing more of Matt Richardson in particular in the future.

Info here.

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