Adelaide Fringe Festival 2017
ADELAIDE ADVERTISER 22/02/17
GUY Masterson's Barking Mad! is a story about a man and his dog, well his wife's. But it's not your typical 'man's best friend' heart-warming-type story.
After meeting his German Parisian actor and model wife, Brigitta, Masterson - who still can't believe his luck 18 years on, it seems - quickly realises his dream woman comes with baggage, namely a 12-year-old Spitz named Nelson.
This is an autobiographical show which sees Masterson reflect on his love life and a dog he claims to have hated.
It's funny, of course, but it's also simply great and enthusiastic storytelling by an award-winning performer who takes his audience on a journey. Dog lovers will either love it or hate it, but it is very relatable.
Though the ending may suggest otherwise, I'm on to you Masterson, you loved all 12kg of that puff ball. (Kazia Ozog - Adelaide Advertiser - 21/02/17)
BROADWAY BABY 22/02/17
GUY MASTERSON HAS DONE IT AGAIN!
Guy Masterson has been visiting Adelaide for many years and is always worth putting at the top of your list of productions to see during the Adelaide Fringe. This year he is offering something different in Barking Mad!, an hilarious true tale that begins with him meeting a stunning French model and actress. Well, she eventually turned out to be German, but she had lived and worked in France for so long that her accent was impeccable. He was instantly captivated, and she walked past as if he was invisible, at first.
To his amazement, things changed and progressed positively, but there was a fly in this romantic ointment, or should I say a dog in the manger. He had to share her with the other man in her life, Nelson, her dog, a Spitz that he quickly re-spelled by replacing the 'p' with an 'h'. The dog's antagonism towards him was mutually returned, and a life of conflict began, worsened when he and Brigitte married and she moved to live at his home in England, bringing Nelson.
Masterson is a sensational storyteller, as we have seen many times in the past, his American Poodle was a marvellous piece of comic theatrical monologue that demanded superior skills in that area, but his personal connection to this story adds another dimension, making it his best yet. He recalls the history of his relationship with her dog, adding in the voices of Brigitte and their two daughters, and giving voice and characterisation to Nelson.
This has to be one for the top of your Fringe list this year. Everybody loves a good laugh, and this show is packed with them. Aching sides and jaws are possible side effects from this brilliantly written and told tale of ongoing woe, and there are so many incidents and anecdotes that are sure to ring a bell with any dog owners or their partners. Yes, Masterson has done it again!
Masterson is also involved with other Adelaide Fringe productions, including presenting A Regular Little Houdini and directing The Devil's Passion with the remarkable Justin Butcher, who received great acclaim for his performance in Scaramouche Jones. Make sure that these are also on your list. (Barry Lenny - Broadway Baby - 21/02/17)
ADELAIDE INDEPENDENT 21/02/17
What would you endure for the sake of love? Would you share your beloved with another? Break the law on two continents? Contemplate the taking of a life?
When Guy Masterson, the acclaimed British actor, director, producer and writer, met Brigitta, the trilingual 'model-slash-actress', he fell hard. So hard, in fact, that he was prepared to play second fiddle to the 'other man in her life' - her dog Nelson, a 12-year-old German Spitz.
Masterson is a frequent festival visitor to Adelaide but this is his first time in the comedy section of the Fringe guide, and audiences familiar with his previous one-man shows (Under Milk Wood, Animal Farm) should come prepared for a very different experience.
The story of his desperate attempts to adapt to life with his canine nemesis is a frenetic and physical performance, with Masterson almost foaming at the mouth as he spits out a series of increasingly hysterical anecdotes.
He paces the stage, moving between two large easels that display images of the other key characters in his sorry autobiographical tale. On the left, the impossibly glamorous Brigitta - then a model in Paris, now mother of Masterson's children. On the right, the cause of all the torment - Nelson, the perky, garbage-eating, super-pooper ball of fluff.
There are high-energy characterisations of the evil dog's antics, lots of shouting, and a fair dose of self-deprecation. It's over-the-top but certainly got the laughs from the opening-night audience.
At the start of the show, Masterson took a quick 'hands-up' poll to survey our opinions on dogs versus cats. He didn't declare his own preferences but I think it's fair to say he won't be adopting a puppy to replace Nelson any time soon. (Jo Vabolis - Adelaide Independent - 21/02/17)
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016
GUY MASTERSON IS A GREAT GIFT TO THE STAGE! - EDINBURGH49+3 18/08/16
When Guy Masterson punched above his weight and married the beautiful Paris-based model Brigitta, he forgot the first rule of life: no person is an island. Brigitta's personal little slice of Alcatraz comes in the form of her oh-so-cute German Spitz: Nelson. Never in the course of human history has one man fought so hard against one dog for the heart of a beautiful woman.
In this show, Masterston relates the autobiographical story of how first he met his (now) wife Brigitta and her 'other man', Nelson. Only one of the matches here are made in heaven. Masterson uses the entirety of the small stage to reveal the darkest recesses of this epic battle of wills between man and dog. Plots are hatched. Fantasies are spun. Opportunities taken. It is a sign of character that Nelson is able to rise above these foolish webs laid at his feet by a mere human. Nelson is channelled through his rival, with Masterson performing every snarl, growl and sniff of contempt. In suitable tones, he explains Nelson's stratagems: exploring the options that could lead to victory over the new would-be Alpha male.
As an award-winning actor and story teller, Masterson is a great gift to the stage. Extensive experience of one-man shows means that the audience is in the hands of a consummate professional. That is, once the story gets going. I think the preamble, where he explains the genesis of the show, while 'enjoying' a cold jacuzzi in a bargain four star spa retreat with his wife, does not work so well. Hearing Masterson relating Brigitta's question 'Why can't you be more funny? led me to think, at that time, she may have a point mate. Fortunately once the main course is delivered, it is no dog's dinner. The story is taut: Masterson's exasperation palpable as failure is piled upon defeat.
The delivery is flawless but Masterson is an honest man. This is his first foray into standup and I suspect he has stuck too closely to the truth and, in doing so, has sacrificed some laughs for the sake of integrity. A more experienced comic may well have hanged truth from the nearest lamppost and had the audience rolling in the aisles.
A certain truth is this: Masterson has a problem. He thinks it is all over but it isn't. Guy Masterson is suffering from PTPS: post traumatic pet syndrome. (Martin Veart - Edinburgh 49+3 18/08/16)
WITTY & VERY ENTERTAINING! - LOTHIAN LIFE 11/08/16
What happens when you fall for a gorgeous German model with a manipulative uber-intelligent rabbit-hunting dog? Guy Masterson (pictured) can tell you, and does in his one man show Love and Canine Integration.
In this autobiographical confession, Masterson takes us through the many intricacies of his life with Brigitta and her hellhound Nelson, a patch-eyed cutie who bit, fought, and outmanoeuvred Masterson at every stage of his early days with Brigitta, and continued to blight his marriage.
Masterson is a master of delivery, and can impersonate Nelson to a canine T. We can actually see the little shite as he claims his rightful place as the number one man in Brigitta's life. Even the birth of the Masterson first child did not shake Nelson's certainty - he knew who his progeny was.
This is an amusing and entertaining hour. Masterson has a good grip on his script and carries his audience with him. It's good fun, witty and very entertaining. (Ros Mackenzie - Lothian Life 11/08/16)
AN ENTERTAINING RAMBLE! - UK THEATREWEB 18/08/16
Guy Masterson has several shows at the Fringe and is a prolific writer, performer, producer and director. This one is personal, looking as it does at how he and his wife came together and how his wife's little dog nearly tore them apart.
An enertaining ramble through Guy's relationship with "Ze bastard", as he renamed the dog, and a nice break for those on a theatre binge at the fringe. (Anon - UK Theatre Web - 18/08/16)
A SUPERB STORYTELLER! -22/08/16
After some of the Fringe's eclectic fare what a relief it is to sit down and enjoy an hour of a Guy Masterson show, safe in the knowledge ones seeing a consummate professional at work. This year he's bravely offering a comic monologue based on his own experiences of courting his beautiful wife Brigitta and discovering, to his horror, that she has another all-important man in her life, her German Spitz Nelson. Once he starts relating the main story we accelerate into overdrive and all proceeds at a cracking pace.
Masterson knows he has won the lottery of life in finding Brigitta and such luck brings inevitable sacrifice, in this case much of his sanity over the ensuing years. As relayed by Masterson Nelson is no ordinary dog. An animal who can defecate at random and has an uncanny ability to predict Masterson's actions, an epic battle of wills commences with the dog invariably triumphant.
Hatching plots that would credit any criminal mastermind (like sneaking Nelson surreptitiously into Britain via hovercraft) Masterson does his level best to try and maintain his equilibrium which is a challenge in the face of Brigitta's adoration for her pooch and his thinly veiled contempt which often escalates into all-out war.
Masterson is a superb storyteller and he brings Nelson to life so vividly one can see the dog in all his glory, every snarl, sniff and gesture of canine disdain conjured with absolute veracity. A treat for dog-lovers and naysayers everywhere. (Amanda Hodges - Essential Surrey- 22/08/16)