Paul Currie is a disturbingly brilliant comic who plays his crowd like the conductor of an orchestra. It is clear from the outset that the audience are an integral part of his show, within a minute of starting everyone is on their feet singing ‘Pandas for hands’ with Currie leading us, and creating a human tunnel of legs for him to crawl under.
A disturbingly brilliant comic who plays his crowd like the conductor of an orchestra
The stage is set with a wide range of props, puppets and other items that Currie uses as part of his act. Some are only used once and forgotten about, others re-appear and become old friends. Currie is a trained Jim Henson puppeteer and this training has clearly developed his skill of manipulating the audience so that they follow his every command and instruction. This is sometimes delivered as a raised eyebrow or a hard stare, sometimes by pure and honest rabble rousing, singing and jumping around.
Currie’s ability to have the audience in his thrall as an ensemble, waiting expectantly in absolute silence for the next moment, is genius. I particularly loved his ‘Belly Button Moon’ sequence with ‘live milk spooning’ (don’t ask, go and witness this). As well as whole audience participation, Currie also uses a few individuals to help him on stage - the nervous laughter as he prowls the audience is palpable.
We learn about Currie’s artistic development from the moment he was a ‘jaundiced little baby’ through to the present day. The show finale is extraordinarily poignant, unexpected and clever and brought a tear to my eye. Currie tells us that this is the real fringe, and I understand exactly what he means. It is raw and exciting, and you need time to come down afterwards to reflect on what you have just experienced. Please go and see this extraordinary man and be prepared for absolutely anything to happen.