Pythagoras; Euclid; Pascal; Pierre de Fermat. All great mathematicians, but little is known of their stand-up.
I’m not sure how good Paul Foot was at being a Mathematician following his graduation in that subject, but his stand-up abilities are without question formidable – and to be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure why I’m writing that.
Looking at my notes from last night’s performance of ‘Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon # Major’ it appears that some of Foot’s random, stream-of-consciousness style has infected my brain. In fact, the most accurate way in which I could review this show would be to type a series of random words and leave it at that.
Weasel, architrave, duck – nope, I just can’t do it.
If you have seen any of Paul Foot’s appearances on television then you will be aware that he is not your average stand-up. If your idea of a good night out at the comedy is Dave Hughes or Adam Hills, and even then you avoid the front row because you don’t want those crazy comedians getting up close and personal, then perhaps Paul Foot is not the comic for you. Or maybe he is. It’s really hard to tell.
Foot’s style is that of barking mad lecturer with mild Tourettes and an inability to remain still for more than a millisecond. He announces himself from backstage and almost immediately breaks the fourth wall by advancing upstage and clambering down to interact with the front row. And when I say ‘interact’ I am not just referring to asking questions about people’s professions.
Foot invites one member to stroke his mullet and then stands astride another. There are diversion to parts of the routine which were supposedly ‘too long’ to include in the show and bizarre tales of evil landladies and Hindus. My brain was getting a full workout from the vast, strange leaps of logic being made on the stage and my jaw hurt from laughing. Beside me my guest was braying like a donkey at every lurch and fit-like spasm from the man on stage, which came as a relief to myself as I had invited them to this show on the strength of nothing other than the fact that my usual comedy companion was elsewhere.
I realise that I am already almost at 400 words and have yet to describe much of the show. This, in itself, is a pretty accurate description of Foot’s show. To say that there are numerous diversions and false starts would give the incorrect impression that there is eventually a ‘beginning’ because I certainly couldn’t pinpoint it. I was too busy laughing.
This is an hour of bafflingly innovative comedy from a guy who really should not be allowed out on his own and I for one loved it. Anyone who can have the audience laughing uncontrollably with the parts supposedly excised from the show has to be worth seeing.
Just don’t sit in the front row.
Paul Foot – Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon # Major is playing at The Hi-Fi, Swanston Street at 8:15pm until April 19th