Edinburgh Festival Fringe: One of those rare Fringe shows that you could happily catch a number of times over the course of its run, Mat Ewins appears to have finally hit the mother lode with his multimedia hi-jinks, refining his film spoofs and computer game silliness into an hour that doubtless rivals anything at the Festival for sheer density of gags.
Heroes @ The Hive (Venue 313)
Introducing us to the Indiana Jones-style movie series Adventureman, Ewins’ alter-ego works at the British History Museum where, thanks to a budget shortfall entirely of his own creation, he needs to find Tutankhamun’s lost amulet to save the day.
In marked contrast to the flimsiness of the film’s plot, the show has been painstakingly sequenced together, and features a riotously funny stream of smoothly cued video clips and even computer game sequences, the height of audience interaction in a show that consistently finds Ewins manipulating and pulling the rug out from the audience’s feet.
He makes imaginative use of webcam, karaoke and his cramped venue’s confines. He’s even programmed random algorithms into his characters’ names.
Broadly entertaining, superficial nonsense though it is, Ewins suddenly halts the action around the 40-minute mark to reflect on his career to date and mock the often high-minded pretentiousness that can run away with itself at the Fringe.
It’s an atypical sober moment in an otherwise knockabout, free-flowing production but justifies its presence as Ewins swiftly reverts to his juvenile mischief. Not every joke lands as impactfully as others.
But there are some for the ages in there and he keeps the show barrelling onwards with nary an opportunity to catch your breath between them. Tremendous stuff.
Until tomorrow. Today 8:45pm.