Matthew Collins is an exceedingly clever man: aside from offering ruthless tips on shopping for (almost) free at the upmarket food store, Waitrose, his stage setup is cunningly manipulated for maximum profit-making: a busker’s hat and an appealing display of his travel books are arranged conspicuously on a podium beside the audience.
Collins, a veteran “special reporter” for the BBC’s now defunct The Travel Show spends the majority of the hour recounting travel tales from trips across North America with his two young children and three specially-recruited grannies. One can only assume the presence of someone else’s grandmother functions as a nifty gimmick for a travel book title and, while Collins’s kids (who appear via holiday camcorder footage) are undoubtedly charming, they end up being the only genuinely amusing aspect of the show.
While informative, Collins' set soon loses the charm of the opening segment, and the show descends into a laugh-free lecture. How To Pimp Your Kids and Shop For Free At Waitrose may be one of the best show titles on the Fringe this year, but one can’t help feeling that it would look better on the cover of a book best left on the shelves of Scotmid.