Southsider (Venue 148) ( not listed in Fringe book)
August 14th to 20th
Rob Hodson has a past. He keeps in vivid touch with that past largely through an ex-girlfriend’s diary which he stole from her. Maybe for him this is some way of maintaining a connection. This suggests someone whose approach to relationships may be touched with desperation.
We are taken into Rob’s life and mind by writer/performer Matt Miller very convincingly and subtly, yet with moments of humour – I laughed aloud several times, which I don’t always do in stand ups! Rob is gauche and unsure of some of what is happening around him and in his relationships. Easily taken advantage of, no doubt.
Matt Miller compels belief in this introverted character even when asking the audience for responses or to join in, which requires great control. There is even a section where the audience may be able to relieve themselves of what is oppressing them. (Rob certainly relieves himself as we go along).
Humour and deft touches of character appear in references to Rob’s mother and to the “other man.” We come to feel involved in the dilemma of the theft and what this says about Rob. And, is there a connection here with what writers commonly do as they use their experience in their writing? Writers are not always nice people….
The audience learns quite a lot about Rob at the close, almost in a rush, and maybe a little more consideration could be given to the way this information is conveyed. The final vote adds a sense of relief and release and is a sharply clever touch.
This is a very engaging and perceptive portrait of a type of person we will all have encountered, and may have wondered what made them tick. Get along and explore what happens in Rob’s mind and his life, be entertained, provoked and maybe even helped by this intriguing character, via his creator, Matt Miller, a writer and performer of considerable promise.