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The Gospel According to Matthew

Home > Melbourne > Cabaret | Comedy | Theatre Reviews
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Event: -
An irreverent dig at politics and free speech, Minchin style
We were only a short way into comedian Matthew Semple's performance when my partner Dave turned to me and whispered 'move over Tim Minchin'. We were soon wondering 'who is this guy and why haven't we heard of him before?' Because really, he has talent in spades, and it shone through.

Semple's show The Gospel According to Matthew is his debut performance in Melbourne. It seems he has not been performing on stage for long, as a Google search of his name fails to find anything much other than a Facebook page. So what I know of him comes from some revelations through the show and from a quick chat afterwards.

The Gospel According to Matthew
Matthew Semple - as comfortable behind the keyboard as behind the mic


Matthew hails from Brisbane - or as he later confides, it's actually Ipswich - so much worse (kidding)! He mentions that he has completed a course in musical theatre - but turned his back on that path in favour of stand up comedy. This grounding, though, has stood him in good stead, as he seems to be as musically as he is comedically talented, seamlessly slipping from behind the mic to behind the keyboard.

When Dave made the comment about Tim Minchin, Matthew was singing his original number A Love Song from Nauru, described as an open letter (in song) to 'a fictitious person named Peter Dutton'. It is sharp, clever and acerbic - almost more Minchin than Minchin.

From there, the material moves on to slightly 'safer' ground, treading through topics as diverse as relationships, penis size and the joys of Tinder.

There's a funny segment about the meaning of free speech - basically yes, you can say what you want, but anyone else can say what they want about what you're saying. Or something like that.

The Gospel According to Matthew
Diverse talent - Matthew busts a rap


Finally, Matthew busts a rap routine - an interesting contrast to the other elements of his show.

I really enjoyed the way Matthew engaged with the audience - be warned, if you arrive late, you will be targeted!

The Gospel According to Matthew
Don't miss this show! Playing at The Butterfly Club until 19th March.


Trying to describe Matthew's style, I concluded he was like a blend of Minchin, (singer) Anthony Warlow and (English comedian) Alan Davies - the latter both in terms of physical appearance (Matthew has grown his hair out for this show), and the understatedly clever and self deprecating style of humour.

I assumed Matthew must be in Melbourne for the soon to commence Melbourne International Comedy Festival, but no, he confesses he missed the cut off date for applications. Oops! But don't YOU miss out on seeing this talented young performer, playing in The Gospel According to Matthew each night at The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne, until Sunday 19th March. Check the website for session times.

Tickets are $32 full, $28 concession. Click here to purchase tickets online, or call The Butterfly Club on (03) 9663 8107.

Image attribution

The images in this article were taken by the writer. They are not to be reproduced in any form without the express permission of WeekendNotes.
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*Fiona Anderson was invited as a guest
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Why? Fun, fresh, acerbic comedy that is more Minchin than Minchin
When: 6pm Fri 17th March, 7pm Sat, Sun 18th, 19th March
Phone: (03) 9663 8107
Where: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, off Little Collins St, Melbourne
Cost: $32 full, $28 concession
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