Paul Kerensa: Back To The Futon

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

This one's hard to review as I was enjoying myself so much I was glued to the performance, all critical faculties suspended. With a wobbly imitation of a Back to the Future title screen and a cinema style intro, Jennifer Masters provides a warm-up set for the main feature, then Paul Kerensa comes bounding to the stage.

The audience can breathe a sigh of relief as he crams as many gags into the first five minutes as I've seen in whole hours at other shows. He's got genuine warmth and enthusiasm and some nice self-deprecation that isn't contrived.

The show is loosely pegged on his love for the Back to the Future movies­ mainly the first film in the trilogy, but not exclusively. Rest assured you do not need to have a working knowledge of the film in order to get the benefit of the show. Neatly circumventing copyright difficulties by showing stills from the film with informative commentary, you'll be quickly up to speed.

By anecdote, pun and sheer inventiveness, not to mention some fine home movies you'll be invited to believe that we can re-enact the central tenet of the film and apply it to Paul's own life, whereby random members of the audience become his newly-met parents-yet-to-be. Jokes abound on his Cornishness, his gingerness, his accursed middle-class demeanour, without once straying into hack territory.

He's a natural with audience banter but has cast iron writing skills as well so the show is not dependent on the confidence trick deployed by many stand-ups. Very funny, very clever, an excellent Edinburgh show making good use of popular culture and Edinburgh icons.

There's also rattling good raffle prize to won by an audience member, I presume each night, which must have cost him a fair wedge. Very nice, but the show is its own reward. See it.

Julia Chamberlain


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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