Henry Paker: Unpacked
Rakish wit from one half of Golden Lizard at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
For some reason, the ‘dressing-up box’ used by sketch groups has recently become a term imbued with negativity. Instead, Henry Paker comes on stage to show us the contents of his ‘memory box’, as he reflects on his inability to throw away the things that remind him of childhood. He remains excited out of all proportion at his Lego friend, Steve (we’re in a Pleasance Bunker and not at the back of the O2, but it’s still welcome that he’s using a screen so we can see the close-up detail of Steve) while later he will produce Kendal Mint Cake, which affords less of a happy connotation.
The trigger for this rose-tinted attempt at a spring clean is Paker moving in with his girlfriend. Spying the potential to have their own decluttering session, his parents thrust this box into his hands to get more of his stuff out of their house. But once a manchild, always a manchild, as Paker sneaks around like a thief in the night indulging in his immature love of crisps. If staying eternally youthful in his head means more shows like this, let’s hope he never grows up.
One small observation: it’s a blessed relief that Paker and Mike Wozniak no longer do sketches together. Not that their work as the Golden Lizard was in any way rotten; just that if you close your eyes when Paker is talking, you can quite readily imagine that last year’s moustachioed Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee is in the room. If the two of them were on the radio together it would be a logistical nightmare for your ears. But, obviously, Paker is his own man and that rakish wit is pleasing to be around.
Pleasance Courtyard, run ended.