Julio Torres: My Favourite Shapes | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Steve Bennett
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Julio Torres: My Favourite Shapes

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Steve Bennett

You definitely haven’t seen a show quite like Julio Torres’s before.

Seated behind a desk, he angles an iPhone down at the surface, projecting on to the big screen all the various shapes he’s come to talk about – starting with a simple square, progressing through a Ferrero Rocher and on to items that are very far from simple geometric constructs.

Though they are the basis of his act, to call him a prop comic wouldn’t quite be right. Sure, he sometimes makes visual jokes of the various baubles he’s brought, but others prompt quirkily funny stories. 

Sometimes they are whimsical fantasies either involving the objects themselves or celebrities they remind him of, or sometimes they are more like proper jokes or observational vignettes. In the gags, he is slightly reminiscent of Demetri Martin’s intricate stand-up, but working with objects rather than words and music.

Given such obsession with the tiny bits and bobs, it’s no surprise to learn that Torres – a Saturday Night Live writer with a half-hour Comedy Central special coming out later in the year –  used to like playing with dolls. And now he lives in a vegan queer collective in Brooklyn, the alt.right’s fears made flesh, as he jokes. And aside from his very existence, there’s a further political edge to some of his fanciful routines, informed by being a foreigner (he’s from El Salvador) in America.

But he would be an outsider wherever he was. He fosters an otherworldly, slightly fragile, demeanour, heightened by his silver hair and his quiet, understated delivery of such peculiar material. His brain certainly works in a unique way, making him  as much a curio as comedian - someone who intrigues as well as entertains.

My Favourite Shapes cocoons the audience into the stage goings-on within that mind, and while it might not be constantly hilarious, it is enjoyable to be enveloped by his peculiarities.

Review date: 7 Aug 2017
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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