Reviews: Matthew Crosby is Matthew Crosby in Matthew Crosby (The Show)/ Just A Gigolo

Matthew Crosby, centre, with his fellow comedy award nominees Tom Parry, left, and Ben Clark

Matthew Crosby, centre, with his fellow comedy award nominees Tom Parry, left, and Ben Clark

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KNOWN to regular fringe-goers as one third of Pappy’s, the award-winning sketch troupe, Matthew Crosby is back with his second solo Edinburgh show, an entertaining Powerpoint-heavy run through some of the more ridiculous instruction pages on the website Wiki-How.

* * *

If that seems a little nerdy, it’s meant to be. Crosby wears his nerdiness on his sleeve, amiably discussing his difficulties chatting up women, his hypochondria and his problems with art galleries, while slipping in obscure 80s TV references.

Indeed, for anyone expecting the high-energy craziness of Pappy’s, this gentle show represents a considerable chance of pace.

In truth there is little in the material of this routine that is breaking any new ground, but luckily Crosby is such a likable host that this is almost irrelevant.

His nervous, animated delivery gets everyone on his side from the start, and many of the funniest moments come from quick-witted ad-libs.

A very entertaining hour in the company of a skilled and amiable performer.

• Ends tonight

ALAN BLAIR

Just A Gigolo

Assembley, George Square * *

IF DH Lawrence is the Don Quixote of love, Angelo Ravagli paints himself as the Sancho Panza, delivering the reality, in this case the sex, to Freida.

He is the real-life figure who, in part, reputedly inspired the gardener character in Lady Chatterley’s lover.

But he was not just a gigolo, as he argues to a Greek hotel owner in New Mexico in 1959.

This central premise, the conversation he is supposed to be having, may actually be the straightforward explanation for why this show simply doesn’t work.

Ravagli is trying to convince said hotel owner to buy a collection of paintings by Lawrence, but the result of the contrivance is that he is talking into the middle distance throughout against a backdrop of the projected paintings (which, incidentally, remain technically banned in the UK).

The reminiscences, musings and speculations are sometimes funny, sometimes moving, but there is nothing which connects them with anyone, real or imagined, in the room.

There are some great lines and Roeve at the centre gives a charismatic, lusty performance that makes it just about worthwhile, but the writing and the staging do not result in a particularly compelling piece of theatre.

• Ends tonight

BRUCE BLACKLAW