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Groom for Improvement
Camden Comedy Club
4th August 2015


Matt Green

Photography provided by The Camden Fringe

Approaching the age of about 30 brings with it the good and the bad. Sure, you may have actually found a job and you may even have somewhere of your own to live, but the questions about marriage and children start cropping up and seem unrelenting. Matt Green addresses being a newlywed and all that goes with it in this perfectly timed hour-long show at the Camden Comedy Club.

Being a gigging circuit regular, Green isn't new to this type of show and it's quite apparent from the start. He delivers a solid 60-minutes of genuine laughs, not solely ridiculing or recycling the old cliches but incorporating a healthy mix of observational, occasionally self-deprecating humour with an element of often absurd-seeming storytelling to the mix.

His audience interaction is friendly and good-natured and he's quick to build a rapport without resorting to poking fun. It's topical - "How long have you been married? How did you propose?" rather than resorting to insults. Though the front rows were noticeably empty, nobody is put on the spot and he obviously isn't one to try eliciting cheap laughs at the expense of his audience.

To begin with, Green's show feels almost frantic. I did wonder whether he could possibly keep this up for the full set but sure enough, once the "getting to know you" at the beginning is over, there no obvious lulls and nothing that feels rushed or forced in. The pacing feels spot on.

Green opens with some seemingly randomly selected discussion of living in London, what the police are up to (don't take his advice) and commemorative crockery but he soon moves onto the real subject of the show - being newly married. Green covers the proposals, the stag parties, speeches, why on earth you'd ever want non-alcoholic wine at a wedding and whether it's ever appropriate to use the word "bridezilla". Tip: Don't. Whether or not you're married we've all seen what surrounds the big issues - invites, speeches, the wedding list and when you go from being a boyfriend to a partner. He skilfully dissects all this with this delightful mix of mockery and dry humour leaving the audience able to laugh at the whole institution.

Observations on living in a tiny place in London hit home several times (what are wind chimes even for anyway?), and his borderline grim account of his noisy neighbours develops into a truly fantastic observation on human nature and the bizarre things people get up to behind closed doors. Moving on to the effect of technology, his ideas for alternatives to audio description in cinema and an "appropriate comments" smartphone app are inspired. It turns out that we're not that different after all.

While it seems some of his material meanders a little, particularly toward the start, everything is tied back together towards the end. Though I don't think the world is ready for his suggestion of an app to rate one night stands, I'd certainly rate this show highly to a friend.

Groom for Improvement opened on 4th August and runs until 6th August 2015 at the Camden Comedy Club, as part of the Camden Fringe.

Nearest tube station: Camden Town (Northern)

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