FRINGE REVIEW – Matt and Ian’s Improv Show


By Helen McNaughton and Susan McNaughton

Our quest to find shows suitable to entertain a young teenager continued today when we visited the Sweet venue at the Apex Grassmarket. Our teenage reviewer was delighted to find that she really enjoyed this Improv Show, starring the comedy duo Matt and Ian.

Before the show started, we were asked to contribute by writing down suggestions of questions and statements which would play a part in one of the improvisation routines during this evening’s show. As we entered the venue we were encouraged to fill the small event space from the front row first – but some of the adults in the audience scuttled to the back. We worried that perhaps they had prior knowledge and a seat in the front row might be a dangerous position to adopt – but we need not have as Matt and Ian’s requirements to participate did not require any of the audience to humiliate themselves.

From the very start, the show was interactive, as the audience was encouraged to make suggestions as to how the action should proceed, and even to dictate which accent the characters should adopt.

A request for one of the audience to lend a book to facilitate one of the routines was a fun routine which fell a little flat on the night we attended – but it may well have been down to the book being a little boring and therefore difficult to mine for a comedic riposte when scanning the contents rapidly.

The show progressed with a series of different games – both wordplay and physical clowning, all designed to have the audience chuckling and laughing and generally having an enjoyable time.

Our junior reviewer was in awe of their skill in being able to react to any ideas which the audience suggested to them. She suggested that younger children would love a show like this too, provided that they had help writing out the suggestions, and thought that if Matt and Ian were to consider taking a show to the children’s audience (as James Campbell has done most successfully) then they would be a sure hit in an early morning slot, particularly if they were to offer smaller children similar opportunities as those offered in the routine where Matt and Ian were in training to be serious. You need to go along to find out how that one goes.

If you want to find out more about the duo, you can listen to their podcasts on their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter @mattandian or search out their mattandianimprov channel on YouTube.

We’ve had a debate this evening about the star rating for this show, and if we could have given it 3.5 stars that might have settled the argument, but as our reviewer enjoyed it so much we’re rounding up!

Until 27 August (not 25) at Sweet Grassmarket @ 18:15

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