DISNEY PRINCE Eli Matthewson
BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
26/04/2016 - 30/04/2016
NZ International Comedy Festival 2016
WOW! YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS DISNEY PRINCE REIMAGINED AS AN ABSOLUTE COMEDY LEGEND!
Eli Matthewson has spent hundreds of hours researching everything on the internet… when he should definitely have been working on something else.
But now he’s making all that procrastination count in a brand new solo sketch show that celebrates the best, worst and scariest that the internet has to offer.
Could the greatest invention of our lifetime be the worst thing that’s ever happened to us? Get off Buzzfeed and buy a ticket to this show to find out.
As seen on TV3’s Jono and Ben, Funny Girls and AotearoHA.
Full Price: $18.00
Group 6+: $13.00
Cheap Wednesday: $13.00
*service fee may apply
Twitter – @EliMatthewson
Theatre , Solo , Sketch , Comedy ,
A welcome change in format
Review by John Smythe 28th Apr 2016
It’s fun to observe a stage setting in anticipation of the show to come. TLAs – ‘LOL’, ‘wtf’, ‘omg’ – and ‘win’ and ‘cute’ adorn the back wall. Plus a red jagged upward arrow: something to do with the stock market or hit-parade, or am I revealing a lack of social media literacy?
A trim desk sports a laptop and an i-Pad, a mic on a stand and a telephonist mic – and what’s that orb at the end of flex? There’s a chair, a small table and a coat rack holding a hoodie, a cap and a bulging thing I can’t quite make out.
It’s all very stylish and up-to-the-minute so the opening internet dial-up tone and landline telephone images (which will multiply as the hour progresses) are surprising. It turns out a US soldier, Michael, is calling his Grandad with news he assumes will devastate him but it’s his own gob that gets smacked. A promising prologue: expect the unexpected?
Eli Matthewson establishes that the driving quest within his sketch show about social media is to delete his Facebook profile and history. Apart from an early tendency to giggle at his own jokes, he carries the show with flair, abetted by director Kip Chapman.
He touches on his Nickelback playlist, Yahoo Answers and 14 year-olds with YouTube vlogs before we discover the purpose of the i-Pad. It’s a great idea, designed to weave a thread through the show. Unfortunately (I have to be oblique here) the tyranny of time-zones produces no outcome this night, although he does get very mischievous with this far-reaching and intrusive toy.
Matthewson gets a chap up from the audience to role-play ‘ordinary Kiwi husband’ to Eli’s very pregnant wife (ah: the bulge!) in order to demonstrate one Dr Chikapov’s ingenious strategy for producing internet-ready children (ah: the orb).
But what of the titular Prince? Fourteen year-old Prince Eric (NZ) is coping with his once-happy parents’ now toxic relationship by creating his own Kingdom on YouTube. His various episodes feature ‘Top Three Things’ lists that are revealing and could be more poignant.
Another volunteer gets to join the CEO of OneTouch Technology and name their new app which Brandon (Eli) then sells to us, inviting her to play along with the improv. It turns out to be an extraordinary product at many levels.
Other sketches see Matthewson share his cyber-stalker story, improvise through a Slam Poetry gig – with a volunteer on percussion – that invariably descends into unresolved bitterness, offer a cleverly-imaged ‘Flatties 5eva’ song at a Fringe Bar open mic, and deliver a mini-TED talk as Stephen Forsythe, Futurist, that imagines where we are headed.
The true Prince of NZ turns out to be Max Key, whom Matthewson emulates complete with (dead in the water) Fern Flag togs – and here it becomes apparent that leaving your smart phone on is a good idea, especially if you have an Instagram account.
So what about life after Facebook and all Social Media? That’s what we’re left to contemplate.
Given the quest, and the expectations the promo image sets up, is it fair to compare this with Ralph McCubbin Howell’s Second Afterlife? Probably not. In the context of a standup-dominated Comedy festival, Disney Prince offers a welcome change in format.
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