Paul F Taylor: Odd Paul
- Marissa Burgess
- 23 August 2019
Relentlessly daft absurdism makes way for a poignant finale
Paul F Taylor's shows have always embraced the silly, but deceptively hidden underneath all that daftness is a tightly penned show. He sets out his stall from the top here, mounting the stage in his charity shop-chic suit and bushy moustache (said 'tache forms one of his opening gags), then proceeds to hold court with a series of one-liners all filtered through a delicious absurdism.
Call-backs, themes and clever wordplay dizzily weave in and out. There are running gags on charity fundraisers having a month-long abstinence, disease-smelling dogs, and a fabulously extended skit on sheep at war. The elephant (or rather over-sized piece of furniture) in the room, is that Taylor has a giant stool on stage alongside him. The use for which becomes clear by the end though you can't help hoping that it will be used for one daft perspective gag and nothing else.
But the show's big surprise is that it actually does have a message after all. Taylor hints at the revelation to come a couple of times but when he drops it in the entire mood shifts. Suddenly we've gone from laughs every few seconds to a quiet moment of reflection. It's devastatingly poignant and makes for a bittersweet but ultimately joyful denouement.
The Stand 2, until 25 Aug, 1.20pm, £10 (£8).