|reporting the edge||credits|
home | about | news | contents | gossip | photographs | venues | brighton | dublin | edinburgh | film | features | interviews | awards | fashion | recipes | no more drinks | newsletter | links | contact
Fringe Report is now closed. Fringe Report closed on its 10th anniversary, Thursday 12 July 2012. It remains online as a record of 10 exciting years in the arts. Till July 2013, previously unwritten content is being added to the site from the past 10 years, but we are no longer reviewing new material. You can still write to us on the existing email addresses. Good luck with your shows.
How To Pimp Your Kids and shop for free at Waitrose
Verdict: Laughter or lecture?
Performer Matthew Collins tells both of the offered aspects of the title. He apparently so believes in his ideas that he flyers Waitrose's car park.
He prays for forgiveness for both things. His kids in voice-over play God and tell him to get on with sharing it all with the audience. They want the show to make money - they dream of actually paying full price for something.
He explains his background - meeting his wife, travel writing, and how he's an embarrassing dad: writing books about his boys' early childhood is not popular now that the teen years approach.
He also covers not wanting to leave them in nursery, and how this led to international travels with two young boys, and a borrowed granny for help. The advert to find the elderly non-au-pair is displayed on stage. He shows video clips from the whole experience.
The Waitrose theory goes like this. He says that Waitrose's computers haven't spotted that when you buy something on a 'two for £4'-type-deal, but they're also reduced-stickered, the maths means that Waitrose actually pays the customer to take stuff away. He doesn't say what happens if the customer does end up with a credit balance.
The later in the day - or ideally, Christmas Eve - that it is, the further the reductions. The customer just has to find the most stupid-looking cashier, so the cashier doesn't notice and manually overrides the transaction.
Another money-wise tip is catching coffee-shop chains before they bin excess sandwiches. Or buy children Christmas presents that can be taken back when the child has been distracted enough by someone else's gift.
Apparently the average cost of raising a child is £150,000. Today's grandparents used to go into work in their early teens. So why not let today's children pay for family holidays with a spot of busking? Obviously, this has to be planned early, with music lessons.
Matthew Collins asks: if they want to do it, is it really pimping? It can teach children the value of money and of hard work, as well as being fun.
He ends on the kids - videoed asking the audience to buy the book, or make donations.
The show really does teach everything it promises - some of which is pretty much common sense from reading the title. And there are a number of laughs on the way through. But for a show in the comedy section, it also feels as if teaching these ideas is more important than the humour. At times, there are long gaps where it seems nearer lecture than laughs. But for anyone who has ever wanted to make back some of that £150,000, or to rip off the John Lewis partnership, this show will definitely teach how - with some good giggles too.
Cast Credits: Performer - Matthew Collins.
Company Credits: Writer and Director - Matthew Collins. Technical Operator - Louise Mason.
(c) Gill Smith 2007
Reviewed Sunday 5 August 07 / Sweet Grassmarket
Fringe Report (c) Fringe Report 2002-2013