by Laura Ferguson
An Inconvenient Poof is about being an environmentalist, but not wanting to reduce the ease with which you live. Kind of. The first few jokes are about this, and what something Matthewson establishes as a tip, not a joke. One about how to recycle a commonly-used container. To be honest, since this is Wellington and many companies would crucify you for recycling this item incorrectly, I could feel the room was a tad nonplussed by this moment which came with its own green backlighting. Someone behind me even said, ‘Duh’. My mind thought, “Uh oh.”
Using the environment theme as a segway, Matthewson moves on to growing up as the Environment Prefect at his high school and the shenanigans that title is beholden to. We also go into Matthewson’s dating life and bits that jokingly cater to the alt-right. There are funny anecdotes about Fitbits and gingko trees, but I’m not blown away. Matthewson’s show is full of great tidbits and I am laughing at his fantastic stage presence, however there are quite a few ‘but, what if’ moments. ‘But what if this was added’, ‘but what if it linked up here’, ‘but what if you thought about it this way’.
Case in point is when Matthewson claims to be a feminist, and yet there are times in his set that show he has not thought about them from an equally gendered perspective. He mentions how there should be a ‘checking in as unsafe’ option on social media as well as its opposite, but this joke made me uncomfortable in thinking about how many times I, as a woman, would use that. I couldn’t really laugh at something where the jokes were all about a man being made to feel uneasy, an entirely different emotion to unsafe.
We circle back to Matthewson’s environmental points with a reiteration of the singular environment tip we heard earlier and the show concludes. Admittedly, my own high hopes led me astray during this performance, but Matthewson is a talent on the stage - he commands our attention effortlessly. The stories were entertaining but, perhaps as I am familiar with his work on The Male Gayz podcast, they didn’t have that sheen of freshness I was hoping for. I still had a good time and I laughed quite a lot. I suppose I was destined to be an inconvenient fan for An Inconvenient Poof.