A YEAR OF MAGICAL F*CKING
Philip Carter Family Auditorium, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Christchurch
23/01/2018 - 27/01/2018
The news is out – millennials are having less sex than our parents. Eli Matthewson is not going to take this lying down.
The little gay rock star of New Zealand comedy comes to Christchurch with a call to arms for the sexless youth. Recently single and disastrously unequipped, this is an hour of honest and awkward stories from a twenty-something desperate to have a sexual awakening.
Fast on the rise in New Zealand, Eli has had a busy year as a writer and core cast member of Jono and Ben and Funny Girls, as well as a regular guest panelist on 7 Days and co-host of The Male Gayz podcast.
Eli has been twice nominated for the prestigious Billy T Award and in 2017 was nominated for New Zealand’s highest comedy honour, The Fred.
“Cannot be ignored.” Tearaway
“Nails every punchline.” NZ Herald
“A must see.” Stuff.co.nz
Phillip Carter Family Auditorium at the Christchurch Art Gallery
23 – 27 January 2018
Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,
Cheerful, laid-back exorcism of shame
Review by Erin Harrington 24th Jan 2018
Eli Matthewson’s hook for his latest stand up hour, The Year of Magical Fucking, is a scientific study from late 2016, picked up with rabid intensity by the mass media, that suggested that millennials are having far less sex than their parents did. Add it to the list of other things millennials have allegedly ruined, from soap on a rope and marmalade to chain restaurants and doorbells. This is a prompt for a loose and funny collection of well-structured gags and stories about Matthewson’s sexual and dating experiences in the period of time between the end of one long-term relationship and the beginning of another during which he “clocked Grindr”.
More broadly, though, Matthewson is interested in how we learn about sex and sexual identity, and gain (or ruin) our sexual confidence. His jokes connect misguided STI-heavy sex ed classes and parents’ offhand comments, and the impact of popular culture (including Disney films, social media, pop music and terribly dated comedies) to the way we think about sexual practice and identity. The shared awkwardness and self-abnegation is a great space to deal with tricky issues, unpleasant experiences and emotional uncertainty through grubby humour.
This show isn’t interested in going to the more serious places that some of the Festival’s other stand up acts have, nor is it as conceptual or deeply structured as his previous shows. Instead, the hour is a cheerful, laid-back and welcoming exorcism of shame to which we are all invited.
Matthewson, a TV3 regular and nominee for both the Fred and the Billy T awards who describes himself as looking like “a 14-year-old Tony Veitch”, is a charming and warm performer. His witty, self-deprecating and often unexpected material avoids many of the tired clichés of comedy about sex and modern relationships. His relaxed style of performance means that the various interlocking stories have a sense of cheeky smuttiness rather than vulgarity.
He’s also polished, and there are easy shifts between pre-written material, newly-added local content and off-the-cuff riffing. Matthewson quickly and easily wins over the crowd, and I can hear the couple behind me digging around for an extra twenty bucks to chuck in the bucket.
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