Matt Grey. Holden Street Theatres. 2 Oct 2018
Here is a man who wanted to make a career out of his love for computer games by putting them on stage with jokes.
He did it once and it was a hit.
Now, after a five year break and the birth of a son, he’s done it again. And it’s definitely another hit.
Game On 2 is just loads and loads of gorgeous geeky fun.
Several computer games with brilliant high-tech graphics are on today’s zeitgeist with the young, Fortnite at the peak of things right now. Of course, it’s a high-tech online game with sophisticated graphics.
Matt Grey’s show is absolutely the antithesis; it's utterly low tech. It’s nothing more than a Power Point presentation, the slides being images of computer games with commentary from Matt.
It’s no ordinary commentary. Matt has the loudest of loud voices. He said his mother complained about it. But now it’s his tool. There is no ignoring him. Not that you’d want to. He’s rambunctiously amusing and downright fun. He knows his games and he knows the players and the culture.
He tests the audience on games, setting up a Boogie bomb which means the kids have to jump up and do specific Fortnite jiggling dance routines. The kids know them and are thrilled to do them. He engages with them and summons kids and parents onto the stage to participate. Sometimes it’s a bit rough-house.
His Pokemon routine is rough and it is possibly the best time a kid could ever have in a theatre. Truly. With his wife dressed up in an inflatable Minion costume, he equips three boys from the audience with a seemingly endless supply of blow-up balls which they hit out into the audience whence they are to be thrown at the hapless costume creature. Balls fly in all directions. Everyone is leaping and throwing and bumping the balls around, the kids on stage ensuring that they all fly back into the audience. It goes on, riotously loud and exuberant until, eventually, the poor yellow giant Pokemon subsides onto the floor soundly vanquished.
There’s another rowdy audience game which is performed with peculiar toy guns and foam bullets. Everyone is supplied with this weaponry. The audience has to emulate the Battle Royale game and save the world by shooting the big baddie who is Matt behind a Donald Trump mask.
Then there’s Granny Theft Auto with optional story endings and Medicare Operation wherein kids with tongs take turns in removing organs velcroed to Matt’s overcoat.
Kids and dads get to star in the hour-long show. Matt doesn’t let them get away with anarchy, though. He keeps everyone in good check, strict as well as fun. He has found the balance.
He peppers the show with anecdotes and gamer chat but, while it is a real buzz for the young gamers, it is also engaging for the rest of the audience. This geek is inclusive.
It’s a feel-good show for young and old, and while the older of Barefoot’s two kid critics described it as really interesting, exciting and entertaining, the younger one, who had had her moment in the spotlight on stage in Matt’s dice story game, simply said:
“Can we go again tomorrow?”
When: 2 to 5 Oct
Where: Holden Street Theatres