Paul Foot: By the Yard
What a comedic meltdown looks a lot like
This article is from 2009.
There would have undoubtedly been some audience members in this performance of By the Yard trooping from the auditorium, praying that somehow they could claw back their lost hour and headed off for Denise van Outen or some puppet show instead. But for others, Paul Foot’s latest staged meltdown is revolutionary character comedy at its most brutally hilarious. At least, I hope to hell that this is character comedy.
Never quite fitting his skin, clothes or hair (he looks like the Roxy Music-era Brian Eno having just been dressed by his blind, possibly demented auntie), Foot shambles on and takes an age to get round to anything. When he does, it’s to over-analyse why a stool happens to be on the stage, to discuss in painful detail the British weather and, in a manic climax, enact a theme-based psychological nightmare he wishes to unleash upon B&B landladies. The term ‘mad genius’ has been chucked around willy nilly down the ages. It has surely found its rightful place stuck upon this man.
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