Matt and Ted make stuff up: MFF

'Matt and Ted Make stuff up' delivers what it promises: a high wire act of comedic improv with no safety net.
Matt and Ted make stuff up: MFF
Matt and Ted Make stuff up delivers what it promises: a high wire act of comedic improv with no safety net. They reckoned it was a bit ambitious – doing a two man entirely improvised 45 minute show based on characters named by prompts from the audience, four wooden boxes, a small piece of wood, a larger one, some accents and a few wigs and hats. Yup! I think you could call it ambitious, but they did want to test themselves. Matt and Ted Make Stuff Up is a first for this pair from over the water, ie Tasmania. Matt Burton and Ted Wilson have both come from theatre sports and stand-up training grounds to creating their own show for this year’s Melbourne Fringe. Matt Burton, the blonder younger of the two, has been cutting his comedic teeth on The Playground @ The Loft in Hobart, while Ted Wilson, the older one with dark facial hair, recently stretched into radio here in Melbourne as part of the ‘Team Radio’ on Nova 100. Some may know him more enigmatically as the European Man. For two pretty thoughtful and considered blokes, their show is a high-energy mix of slap-stick, pun and silliness – think The Mighty Boosh The Early Years. The show starts with the Kilometrico pen, always a personal favourite, and a piece of paper handed out when you arrive. Audience members are asked to put forward suggestions for the names of the narrator, hero and villain, the story’s setting and more ominously ‘what goes wrong.’ All is put into the green bucket full of ideas, or ‘Bucket of Good’ as it is labelled and from within comes a new show every night. On opening-slash-preview night, Matt and Ted catapulted themselves into a potential comedic and theatrical quagmire of a narrator called Oscar, a hero called Kerlinki, and a villain called Rotardo to create a story set in the MCG that resolved with ‘hair floats everywhere.’ That they managed to create a story through a head spinning multiplicity of characters and scenes and make an ending that almost made sense of it all was mighty impressive. There was an abused girl’s relationship with a water bottle and her tree-friend that liked to run (but didn’t so much like being turned into a boat) some hair obsessing, golf with Barry and Tarbs with the aforementioned pieces of wood, a guitar duet with harmonies, ocean journeys and returns and a finale of finals footy, drowning by water bottle and the near obligatory ‘I’m your father,’ line. The guys have embarked on the Everest of theatrical performance, not impossible but it sure helps to have a few sherpas up your sleeve or at least some stuff written down. But it’s a show that’s set to hit its stride as the festival progresses. They’re well pitched and delivered some good laughs to a responsive audience and for a Monday night that says a lot, though two bemused West-Australian ladies (a long way to have wandered to a small bar in North Fitzroy) were still trying to make sense of it as we queued for ‘the toilet’ afterwards. Still, they’d taken the punt to hit the fringe and they reckoned ‘they were very talented.’ To add your own dash of mayhem to the bucket of good check out: Matt and Ted Make Stuff Up: Glitch Bar Venue: Glitch Bar 318 St Georges Rd North Fitzroy Transport: Tram 112, Stop: 23 Melways: 30 C11 Time: 7.00pm (45min) Tickets: Full Price: $ 15.00 Concession: $ 10.00 Tuesday: $ 10.00 MELBOURNE FRINGE FESTIVAL 23 September - 11 October

Fiona Mackrell

Wednesday 30 September, 2009

About the author

Fiona Mackrell is a Melbourne based freelancer. You can follow her at @McFifi or check out