Paul F Taylor Presents The Greatest Show In The World Ever

Paul F Taylor is like a puppy: he has very fluffy hair, oodles of energy and even when he slips up, we still like him. Indeed, despite points during the show that seemed like he was chasing after his own tale, oblivious to the audience around him, he never lost our attention, and continued to be rather loveable throughout.

Taylor introduces his show by telling us that he purchased The Greatest Show In the World Ever for six thousand pounds – better than the typical eight grand comedians will spend on a run at the Fringe – after a life-changing encounter with a mystical gentleman with a magic eye and a foreign accent (a back-packer, he presumes). Supposedly containing this winning formula was a not-so enigmatic cardboard box that sat in front of us throughout the show and by the end I really was pining to take a look inside. Taylor’s framing device is a smart one and enhanced by a very amusing Japanese-apprentice bit; charmingly, this indicated Taylor’s modest self-awareness of the embryonic nature of his act.

This awareness meant that some of his observational gambits were, by his own admission, not quite realized to their full potential. For example, there were some very funny reflections on the distinctly British phenomenon of jumper-politics (on chair means reserved, on shoulders means posh), and the analogous queuing tendencies between ants and humans. But these ‘observations’ were rather hard to identify with for the average punter and while entertaining, his caterpillar impression was perhaps a little too out-there to achieve the kind of ‘that is so true’ reaction that he is looking for.

The final section was shaped around a confrontation between the many different characters he introduced within the show, which crystallised both the best and the worst aspects of Taylor’s act. Impressively, he managed to maintain a sense of coherence despite the incredibly complicated nature of speaking to oneself in seven different voices, from seven different positions. Moreover, he had us laughing the whole way through, and the crowd was behind him all the way. However, there were moments when the reasoning behind it all was just too strained; I couldn’t help but wonder why a caterpillar would ever talk to a jumper with a Welsh accent, for example.

However, though The Greatest Show in the World Ever is not quite there yet, I have confidence that Paul F Taylor will get there eventually; as part of PBH’s Free Fringe, Taylor’s show is definitely worth checking out.

Reviews by Emma Banks

Almeida Theatre


Battersea Arts Centre

The Rove

National Theatre

A Taste of Honey


The Light Princess


Blurred Lines


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now


The Blurb

This show has been a tightly kept secret since the dawn of time. Paul F Taylor (New Act of the Year 2013) brings that show to your face!

Most Popular See More

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets