Lorenzo Pacitti

Edinburgh Fringe review: Matt Price, The Maryhill Dinosaur

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This show is more storytelling than stand-up, and it’s all the better for it. Matt Price is ready and waiting as the seats fill up to welcome guests in, genuinely grateful for their presence.

This casual start means the show clicks seamlessly into gear as Matt creates a comfortable environment for everyone to settle into. Price is an engaging performer, starting on stage before venturing into the empty front row to sit closer to his audience.

His place on the chair, surrounded by all of us, and his charming cadence makes the show feel like it’s taking place around a campfire. The light pointed to the stage now offering a bright backdrop behind Price as he sits in the relative dark with us.

Without getting in to spoiler territory, the stories Matt tells are all of great interest and as they are all true, allow him maneuverability to explain, take a diversion and pose the odd question to the audience as he doesn’t have a script to follow or a joke to get back to.

The pacing of the show is great as the stories don’t feel piled on top of each other and overbearing; they are blended together seamlessly by Matt as he moves between them. I never got tired of a story or wished for the punch line; I was enjoying the journey we were being taken on. The stories had a unique vulnerability and honesty that can only come from genuine tales offered by a warm and open character such as Matt. He identifies his shortcomings, and demonstrates how they make him who he is.

Within all this truth and intrigue, there is plenty time for laughs and they come surprisingly thick and fast for such well told stories. Again, they didn’t feel like gags for the most part, just funny products of the narrative.

The show ends on a remarkably sweet note as the stories come full circle, and there is a real sense of satisfaction in the room as we leave knowing that we got more than we bargained for out of the show.

The Maryhill Dinosaur packs in more laughs than most straight stand-ups at the Fringe, while boasting a unique level of beauty and honesty that is so difficult to find.

Date of live review: 19 August 2014 @ The Counting House

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  • WillyTheFish

    Brilliant review of a brilliant show. Let’s hope someone organises a post Edinburgh tour.