Fringe 2013: Matthew Harvey is…Dangerman!

Matthew Harvey drops a truthbomb in his stand up poetry set, Matthew Harvey is…Dangerman!, “saying, ‘I don’t like poetry’ is like saying ‘I don’t like music,’” and he’s right.

Both mediums encompass a wide rage of styles and emotions. It would be unfair to denounce all of them in a blanket statement. And while Harvey put on a good show, the style of poetry that he was throwing down wasn’t something I was interested in picking up.

His set mainly consisted of poems that use rhyming schemes as their main hook. The substance of each work (most of them ranging from 30 seconds to two minutes) really didn’t offer much in the way of spectacularly obscure word-usage to convey theoretical concepts, and Harvey even warns as much within the first few minutes of his act.

He’s targeting the crowds that come to chuckle at jokes about poop, pop culture, local geography, and other aspects of low comedy – or, in his words, “wallowing in the shallow end of the poetry pool.”

I can’t fault Harvey for knowing exactly what he was going for and executing on his ideas in a sufficient manner – he even pulled out a ukelele at times to add a little musical backing to his limericks – but it definitely wasn’t the type of heady poetry that I was anticipating.

It would be a stretch you say that Harvey lives life on the edge with the content of his character in Matthew Harvey is…Dangerman!, but in another era, I could definitely see his performance inciting a wall of vegetables being hurled on the stage.


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