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Wednesday, July 8, 2009


(Pic by Louis Chetty: Matthew Ribnick as one of the numerous character he plays)

Matthew Ribnick set to have another major comedy success on his hands with NAF presentation. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Matthew Ribnick (The Chilli Boy and Hoot) is set to have another major comedy success on his hands with Monkey Nuts which he is presenting on the National Arts Festival this year.

Directed by Geraldine Naidoo, as are all his productions, Monkey Nuts takes us on another whacky journey – this time through the life of a misfit called Edgar who works in a bank and is a compulsive competition entrant. He’s his own consumer watch and, in time, this ability filters through to all the people who are associated with him. So, while he may not have any friends, people are taking note of what he’s saying. He does find a friend in Claude – only problem is that Claude is a monkey in a pet shop and then someone buys him.

In the process of Monkey Nuts, we get to hear Matthew prove that he can sing opera (Le Donna e Mobile) and do a bit of dancing Bhangra and Bollywood styles. We meet the highly camp Rudolph (beautifully portrayed), his partner Jean, the womaniser KJ, the Jewish petshop owner, a lady in a shower cap, a black yoga instructor, a former colleague from the Navy, Cindy of the long hair (another delight), an upright Muslim gentleman and Robbie Braveheart (a Billy Connelly clone!). These are only a few of the characters that Matthew takes on in a dizzying whirl of character changes- sometimes mid-sentence and often with hats, just to complicate things.

It’s a formula he knows works and I am certain that Monkey Nuts will be as much of a drawcard as his previous two shows. Monkey Nuts has performances at the festival until July 11. – Caroline Smart