Barnstaple's Fringe Theatre Festival
June 23rd-26th 2016

Mind Over Matt

Matt Cann


Try to imagine Mary Poppins crossed with Dawn French in a bearded manís body. Matt Cann is a vision in flowery skirt and garish lipstick, the discordant image reflecting the oddness of the show itself.

This is a curious 50 minutes that is deceptively simple in structure, but immensely skilful in performance. Matt Cann appears to have no plan, to say and do whatever random thing occurs to him, but there is an underlying structure and purpose. This is a clever exploration of the disordered mind, one affected by ADHD, playing with theatrical convention, and toying with the audience.

If this sounds like a serious prospect Mattís charisma and charm, changes of pace and rhythm, the imaginative use of technology, and a surprising physical episode (not to give too much away), keep the audience interested. Sometimes our patience might be stretched just a little too far but there is much to enjoy in this theatrical adventure.

Are we watching a fully improvised, random, slightly boring shaggy dog story, or are we witnessing a cleverly structured, brave statement that uses theatrical convention in a subversive way? Whatever this is you will be thinking about it and discussing it long afterwards, and probably wondering, as am I, what will Matt do next?
Nicola Cockell, The Daily Fringe