Payne-ful multimedia experience

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In Hello, My Name is Matthew Payne, writer and star Matthew Payne presents his efforts to interact with as many other Matthew Paynes as possible.

Matthew Payne has taken the casual act of typing your name into Google to see what pops up, and turned it into an exploration of ego and what it means to be a Matthew Payne. Unfortunately, Hello, My Name is Matthew Payne is just about as interesting as the Google search itself; it has its moments, but overall it ends up repetitive and unmemorable.

Payne jokes throughout that he accidentally deleted conversations and that his preparation was limited due to other circumstances. The lack of preparation is evidenced in the show’s lack of cohesiveness. Payne stands at a podium reading off prepared notes while he presents a mishmash of taped phone calls, media clips of famous Matthew Paynes and personal YouTube clips by Matthew Paynes, which just feel jumbled.

The whole presentation is reminiscent of a class that sounds good in theory, but when you actually attend, you discover it is not as interesting as you expected: the professor is unprepared and it’s too late to drop the course. A greater amount of preparation and perhaps a rearranging of segments would have helped the overall flow of the storytelling. I couldn’t help thinking that had Payne presented his expedition as a simple monologue, in which he himself described the conversations, trials and tribulations without the aid of the multimedia, it would have allowed for a better connection with his audience and an opportunity to play up the comedic factors.

Hello, My Name is Matthew Payne is a play that feels like it is still in its infancy. Perhaps with a little more time and nurturing, it could become worthy of a second look.

Hello, My Name is Matthew Payne at Victoria Fringe Festival
St. Andrew’s School Gymnasium, 1002 Pandora Ave.
Saturday, Sept. 1 @ 11 a.m.
Sunday, Sept. 2 @ 4 p.m.
$11 (plus $5 Fringe Visa Button)

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