Paul Kerensa

Paul Kerensa

Paul Kerensa started stand-up in 2002, when he won the ITV Take The Mike competition, and was a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards, Daily Telegraph Open Mic Awards and Wilkinson Sword Cutting Edge Of Comedy Awards. That year, he also wrote a comic play for the Edinburgh Fringe – Spinning Jenny.

He made his Edinburgh debut in 2005 with 26 – based around the American action show 24 – and returned in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

As a writer for TV and radio, he co-wrote Not Going Out with Lee Mack, Simon Evans and Andrew Collins and has worked on The News Quiz, Dead Ringers, The Now Show and After You’ve Gone.

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Paul Kerensa: Back to the Futon Pt2: Dude, Where's My Hoverboard?

Review by Paul Fleckney

It’s a wonder there aren’t more Back to the Future-themed shows at Edinburgh this year, given how significant the year 2015 is to the film trilogy, and, working backwards, how many comics would have been at a formative age when the original BTTF came out.

This one, from Paul Kerensa, a writer for Miranda and Not Going Out, is a reboot of his 2006 show of the same name. Cue gags about him going back in time to correct the jokes of the past.

What it amounts to is a cheerful 60-minute yomp through Kerensa’s devotion to the film, and his life since the original Back to the Futon. (Don’t ask me about the ‘futon’ pun, by the way, I’m yet to figure it out. Perhaps it made sense in the days when everyone was watching Lost and listening to Snow Patrol.)

It would have been for easy for Kerensa to end up with a show that falls between two stools, with too much BTTF for those ambivalent to the film, and too little of it for his fellow obsessives. In actual fact I think he gets it about right, not least because his quick comic mind and effusive persona make him a pleasure to listen to, whether you’re a BTTF buff or not.

He throws himself into his task, kicking off with a song – an impressive one at that – in which he recaps the entire plot of the original BTTF, set to the various tunes from the soundtrack. He makes some comparisons between the reality of 2015 and how BTTF2 thought it might look like – hover boards, self-tying shoes etc – but this is a pretty predictable path and Kerensa is wise to keep it to a minimum.

It’s not what I’d call a seamless show, however. Crowbars abound, as he wrestles to incorporate his personal story of going from singleton geek in 2006, to unexpected father of two in 2015. There are gags about his Bible iPhone app and what Jaws is in French, though I’m not sure what they were doing in this show. At one point, we are transported to a Jongleurs club in 1998 (or, for that matter, 2015), for a short section about how men don’t help organise weddings and don’t understand baby weights.

Things veer towards the daft at the end with some elaborate home-made video sequences that I fear took a long time to produce, but which interrupt the flow without adding an awful lot of humour. Kerensa jokes about their self-indulgence and indeed, they could do with a trim.

But none of this especially detracts from a show that zips along on good material and a sense of fun, and adds up to a thoroughly enjoyable hour.

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Published: 10 Aug 2015

Spinning Jenny

There is a brilliantly original idea at the heart of…
1/01/2002

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