Phil Kay (4 stars)

  • 11 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

In written words alone, it’s difficult to do justice to Phil Kay’s ad-libbing ability. At their height the wild, childlike performer’s transports of improvisation become things of comic beauty. He might as well have a shortwave receiver in his head, twiddling the dials to pick up random broadcasts and arranging them in an order which your laughing apparatus, if no other part of you, is convinced makes perfect sense.

There is, for what it’s worth, a modicum of structure in his act this year. Having moved to a seaside town on ‘the left shoulder of Scotland’ he is full of the joys of rural living, of cycling into and out of love, of instilling his kids with the spirit of philosophical inquiry in order to shut them up. As always, what little narrative propulsion exists defers unconditionally to the bearded dervish’s ecstatic babble. If you’re content with life-affirmingly effervescent comedy, Kay is a sheer gift. (Sam Healy)

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