Stand Up Monkey Poet – Matt Panesh (Fringe 2008 Review)

Review by Megan Mooney


Okay, so, lets just get things started here by saying…  GO TO THIS SHOW.  Seriously.  It’s a wonderful thing to behold.

Whether you agree with Panesh’s views or not, his passion and energy are infectious.  Plus, the whole thing is bloody hilarious. 

I debated about whether I should put a warning about ‘strong language’ after the jump.  I decided I would, because if you can’t deal with ‘strong language’ you’re not going to enjoy this show, so you may as well skip the rest of the write-up.

Now, onto the bad words… 

The best shows always seem to have have a caveat, the caveat for this one is that it’s not for the faint of heart.  If you’re not good with words like fuck, and cocksucker, this show isn’t for you.  In fact many of the poem titles include the use of some variation of the word fuck, and cocksucker makes an appearance in a title too.

If you can handle the language (it’s only words after all) then I can’t recommend this enough.  As I mentioned in my blogTO review, I’m generally not so much a poetry person, so I was a bit trepidatious walking into this production.  Panesh quickly won me over though.  His poems were more like mini monologues.  He was acting them out, not just reciting them.

Basically, funny and smart get me every time.  Add in passionate and socially conscious, well, I just swoon.  And, just to make it *that* much more impressive, that passion and energy came across, even though there was an exceptionally small audience (always something that’s hard to work with).

So, to recap…

Matt is bitter, he’s angry, but mostly he’s personable and hilarious.  It’s poetry, but it’s acting.  He’s, well, not so politically correct – but that just makes it more fun.

This all brings us back to where we started…  GO TO THIS SHOW.  You only have 4 performances left, it’d be great if we could pack the house!  I can’t begin to imagine what a great show it would be with the energy of a large audience.


Stand Up Monkey Poet is playing at the George Ignatieff Theatre July 7, 9, 11, 13. For more info see the Toronto Fringe website.