Comedy review: Paul F Taylor Presents The Greatest Show In The World Ever

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Paul F Taylor Presents The Greatest Show In The World Ever at Wilkie House Upstairs (Venue 299), reviewed by Jay Richardson

Worthy of a Fosters comedy award, at least in Paul F Taylor’s enterprising imagination, this is an eclectic, entertaining hour of stand-up characterised by surreal touches and capricious roaming over a range of subjects.

It might be a free performance but Taylor has splashed thousands purchasing The Greatest Show In The World Ever from an enigmatic Oriental gentleman. This is a decision that absolutely can’t backfire, because otherwise he’ll be forced to perform his own material, an eventuality he views with concern.

With the persona of a slightly touched idiot capable of deceptively smart subversions of existence, from his dubious trick for reserving a seat in a bar to ingeniously conning a restaurant into serving your preferred food, Taylor evokes vivid visual imagery, whether in drawn-out scenarios or enjoyably throwaway wordplay.

He owes an obvious debt to Eddie Izzard for a couple of lengthy dialogues he sustains with himself, maintaining a meta-commentary on the success of routines and amusingly bringing back previous characters for cameos.

Superficially, it all feels a bit messy. However, there’s a robust enough structure for this sort of silliness and he wraps it up in a satisfying way.

Until 24 August. Today 7:30pm

Originally published in The Scotsman

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