Paul Zerdin: No Strings (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

Paul Zerdin: No Strings

Foul-mouthed ventriloquist show is predominately slick, funny and charming

Paul Zerdin is part alt.comedy, part traditional variety, part GOB Bluth: a predominately slickly funny act. His foils, a foul-mouthed perverted old man and a foul-mouthed, perverted schoolboy, are fairly standard ventriloquist fare, but his interactions with them, and other off-stage characters, bring to light some seriously impressive moments, as Zerdin throws his voice all over the room, leaving it increasingly difficult to bear in the mind that he is essentially having a four-way conversation with himself. Is Sam, the schoolkid his evil side manifest? Can he relay his inappropriate thoughts about the women in the audience via old man Albert? Zerdin further explores this notion in an uber meta segment in which puppet imitates master and master imitates puppet, effectively posing the question: who is controlling who? A nod to Nina Conti in the final act reveals nothing particularly original, but Zerdin’s manipulation of audience members is nonetheless both good fun and charming.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 25 Aug (not 12), 8pm, £10.50–£12.50 (£9.50–£11).

Paul Zerdin: No Strings

  • 3 stars

CKP in association with Cole Kitchenn. With 3 million plus YouTube hits, Paul Zerdin has taken ventriloquism to new heights. It won't be long before his unsuspecting audience notice that it's not just the puppets he's controlling! ★★★★★ (Scotsman). 'Brilliant' (Evening Standard). Ages 14+.