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Paul Foot: Ash In The Attic
Paul sweeps the loft conversion of his mind for comedy lampshades, bronze slapstick geese and Persian golf balls. Directed by Noel Fielding
Paul Foot: Ash In The Attic
At the top of his show, Paul Foot announces that he isn’t a conventional comedian. Anyone aware of his career so far will already know that his gigs are never likely to follow any of the ‘rules’ that govern stand-up.
Even if you’re not familiar with his work, his appearance is a good indicator of the eccentricity to come –the kipper tie and pale slacks of the Seventies comedian and a most entertaining mullet, almost shaved at the top with shoulder-length waves beneath. However, this does prove a most practical style when it comes to wearing the collection of hats he models on picture postcards handed out at the end of the gig.
As an unconventional comedian, Foot ponders the convention that he should come on applause – should it not, instead, be warm receptive faces? So he decides to start the show all over again and try it both ways. Plenty of shambling follows, including stealing a bag from the front row with the line ‘Would you like me to store that for you?’
‘Let’s get straight to it’ he announces at least ten minutes in and the show, directed by Noel Fielding, starts (again). Welcome to the unhinged , but brilliant, world of Paul Foot.
Sometimes this is like watching a doddering old lady who’s slightly losing her marbles potter about her kitchen trying to get some tea together, muttering to herself, trying one thing then wandering off and doing something entirely different.
He slips into a lengthy routine of ‘topical’ humour about Shire horses, village fetes and homophobia. Then some one-liners are read off patterned cue cards and there’s a final drama featuring skeletons, Rachmaninov and a giant trifle.
Foot’s a daring comedian, never concerned about bamboozling his crowds and accepting that he frequently splits an unsuspecting room. Though when Chortle were in, the crowd seemed to be made up of fans; there were many shrieks of uncontrollable laughter and when an imaginary phone is passed around after Foot tires of the verbose fictional person on the other end, many in the audience happily continue the charade.
It’s inspired, surreal and incomprehensibly funny. Don’t question it, just go with it.
|Date of live review: Saturday 21st Aug, '10|
Review by Marissa Burgess
Paul Foot does not need to be directed by anyone! He is wonderful
I have attended many many comedy shows at the Fringe and found this laboured show very confusing. It was not comedic in the slightest, nor was this drama or performance art. I believe that the applause at the end was relief that the show had ended, and talking to others afterwards confirmed this. I understand that previous shows have had an element of surreal and manic humour which is why I chose to go, however I regret this decision, a waste of time and money.
Saw Paul trying out some smaller excerpts for this year's Edinburgh show at a very small gig in London... if you like Paul's previous stuff you'll not be disappointed and the samples that Paul displayed for us (still needing some refinement by his own admission - during the performance) nodded towards something that could potentially be sublime. I shall be beating a path to see the full show in Edinburgh. If you like stand-up to be as much about performance and something to wrap yourself up in, as well a laugh, then I'd heartily reccommend him. Nomination this year? PS - I don't think Paul would mind if I stated that if you're into Jethro and/or nob gags it might not be your cup of tea. Still, always nice to try new things though, mmm?