Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Fin Taylor: Stink, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson
A FOOD-OBSESSED, scientifically clueless cultural philistine and blood sport enthusiast, not to mention paranoid stoner and conspiracy theorist, Fin Taylor seems precisely the sort of guy you don’t want to be trapped in the kitchen with at a house party. Yet, while he sets Stink up as an all-night ear-bending, with empty lager cans and pizza boxes discarded behind him, this is actually one of the punchiest, densest and most wide-ranging 45 minutes of stand-up at the Fringe; his show’s lean muscularity in stark contrast to the feckless, unappealing no-mark he projects himself as.
Low-status from the outset, introducing himself as a prematurely aged 24-year-old with a useless arts degree, his incomprehension of organ donorship prompts a superb and sustained series of musings about the consequences of penis transplants, his intellectual limitations and male preoccupations working in concord with an artful wit.
Happy to argue for Con Air’s superiority to Citizen Kane, and indeed, The Rock to King Lear, he’s openly partial, perverse and unrefined, while hatred of his pseud-ish flatmate excites ludicrously excessive bile. Rather brilliantly, he turns her character assassination into an analysis of white privilege that in turn becomes a reverence of spicy food, a smooth segue into a sex-gastronomy sensual celebration that’s underscored by his body issues.
A former fat kid with an unshapely torso, Taylor is masterful at amusing with his forthright convictions while all the while reassuring you that he’s an unedifying specimen of humanity not to be respected or aped. Like all out-of-kilter thinkers though, he occasionally alights on a genuinely profound idea, even if his identification of a serial killer through his choice of late-night snack owes much to his uniquely over-active imagination.
Greatly surpassing his so-so 2014 debut, this is a comic finding a little of the strut of his cocksure sporting heroes.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), until 30 August, 6pm
Published in The Scotsman on 25 August 2015
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