Mat Ewins: Day Job

Thu 6th – Sat 29th August 2015

reviews

Izzie Fernandes

at 09:52 on 11th Aug 2015

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Whether or not this was really his day job remained unclear. Nonetheless, it has to be said that full- or part-time, Ewins had clearly done this before (seven full Fringes to be precise). This stand-up provided laughs for both the audience and for the comedian himself and I can only assume an evening spent entertaining his amicable audience was preferable for Ewins than working on an oil rig or as a soldier.

This was a pacey performance with solid and enjoyable wit. Ewins delivered the set with an ease of performance allegedly more inappropriate than a time he performed a kid’s show with a boner. His deliberately self-deprecating tone made for comfortable comedy. His own spiel about a pie factory (a favourite joke for what his website terms this ‘very hungry comedian’) was interrupted by his exclaiming “fucking hell I need to stop ad libbing”. Such casual interjection gave the stand up a fresh, rustic feel. If refined and clean cut comedy is what you have in mind, this is probably not the one for you.

Interaction with the audience fuelled a large number of the most effective jokes. Saying this, laughs at their own expense seemed to be a crowd pleaser which was delivered with a precise wickedness of wit. The latecomers which he expertly humiliated came off lightly in comparison to two guys further back who clearly felt the need to have a conversation mid flow and were subsequently named and shamed for their reluctance to “share the joke”.

At some points this self-deprecation seemed overblown and tired. Even Ewins’ use of strange headgear, and energetic delivery didn’t succeed in stitching my stomach with laughs. Saying this, there was certainly enough other content to outweigh his, at times, repetitive repertoire. A faulty and yet very specifically timed microphone was a clever pitch which allowed for random interjections concerning a drama teacher and neglected dogs; this was stand-up with strong element of slapstick.

Some ludicrously of pantomime and simultaneously explicit content pervaded Ewins’ energetic performance. With raisins aptly revealed as the MILF’s of the grape world, there were some laughable gems. Ewins surpassed his own expectations and transformed a relatively inauthentic narrative into something more consistently comic and crowd-pleasing. His suggestion that he was merely ‘playing guess who with his career’ was unnecessarily harsh and if you have a spare evening and want to rest your legs in front of some lighthearted comedy with a beer or two, take Ewins up on the offer to let him share his Day Job with you.

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Beckie Rutherford

at 10:02 on 11th Aug 2015

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After discovering that Matt Ewins works as a sales rep at the Plymouth Pie Factory, his stand-up comedy show Day Job seemed pretty promising. Disappointingly however, his chosen material was not the trials and tribulations of the Pie Factory, but instead a weird and haphazard display of his other self-proclaimed talents such as psychic power and authoring a bizarre children’s story.

Ewins was quick to point out that so far this year his show had been “underrunning like a mother-fucker” and his self-deprecating cynicism continued to crack up the audience throughout his (admittedly brief) performance. That said, the repeated joke about needing to fill time became a bit laboured, as did Ewins’s telling off of latecomers. I couldn’t help questioning a) why didn’t he just write more material in the first place and b) just how short would the show have been had everyone actually arrived on time?

Thankfully Ewins’s easy manner and smooth interaction with the audience held it together, so it was easy to forgive moments of mistimed sound effects and the helpless abandoning of certain jokes. He took everything in his stride including the fact that an audience member reading the wrong plot-spoiling line of the murder mystery script got by far the biggest laugh of the show.

The humour was definitely at its strongest when it was kept simple. For those with more conventional tastes in comedy the stripped back periods of ad-libbing (which occasionally had moments of genius) were far more impressive than Ewins’s purposely shambolic role-playing, not-to-mention his dodgy song towards the end.

As Ewins hurtled towards the end of the show the jokes became downright weird – and if you weren’t on board with it by that point then it was easy to become restless (he shouted “GRAPES!” so many times in the last five minutes that I became distracted by a sudden food craving).

I left Day Job with no doubt that Ewins himself is a very funny guy – I’m sure if you went to the pub with him he’d have you doubled up over a pint - but the show itself was disappointing and failed to impress. If you’re not familiar with Ewins’s wacky humour and prefer more conventional stand up then it’s safe to say that you should give this show a miss.

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