Matthew Crosby returns to the Fringe with another solo show. As one third of the acclaimed sketch troupe Pappy’s, Crosby’s solo work shares Pappy’s typically warm silliness, whilst allowing him the room to breathe.

Any comparisons with the brilliance of Pappy’s are unfair however, as Crosby can effortlessly hold his own as a solo performer. The gang show element more familiar to fans from his previous work is also revived, via some incredibly satisfying audience interaction. A liberal use of prop also adds to the organised silliness, as does his unsurprisingly barely adept use of ventriloquism or his beautifully pointless Russian cabaret intro.

Crosby’s observations are astute, even if the cleverly woven jokes can at times be a little predictable. There’s some enjoyable wordplay and thankfully we’re forewarned about the groan- inducing puns.

Smaller Than Life is a strong solo effort from a performer who, inexplicably, isn’t a household name

Words: Tom Crosby

Matthew Crosby: Smaller Than Life, Just the Tonic at The Mash House, 14-17th, 19-30th , 7:40pm

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