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