Yes, the man with the silver shoes is back, and each of his 58 minutes on stage are as weird and wonderful as ever.
Foot’s angle on well-tested topics is, both metaphorically and physically, completely perpendicular to the norm, as he leans precariously towards the audience in a manner that invites laughter before any words have left his mouth.
Going to a Paul Foot gig is much like having dinner at Yo! Sushi: it delivers what you want, be it tasty food or top-notch comedy, but in a fashion you have never, ever experienced before (note: you don’t have to enjoy sushi to also enjoy this gig). Foot’s command over the apparently random chain of events is absolute, drawing on self-referential humour to create a structure which he then willfully and enjoyably disobeys. Particular highlights are the aptly-named “Disturbances”, which blend recognisable sentiments with unsettlingly abstract situations to create bizarre, yet entertaining, mental pictures that resonate long after the performance.
Often audience members could be heard repeating phrases to themselves, as if they were trying to recapture the magic bestowed on these words from the stage. Foot’s angle on well-tested topics is, both metaphorically and physically, completely perpendicular to the norm, as he leans precariously towards the audience in a manner that invites laughter before any words have left his mouth. Whilst some may feel uncomfortable with the thought of coming quite literally face-to-face with such a vivacious character, Foot always knows how long to play each joke and times the seemingly chaotic hour to the minute; all audience interaction is carefully incorporated (and superbly improvised) into the set, treading the line between familiarity and intrusiveness with aplomb. There are points at which he appears to be convulsing with energy and imagination, as impressions and impersonations become exaggerated beyond recognition, and at times this can impede the delivery somewhat. However, it is this combination of outrageous physicality, sheer unpredictability and sublime caricature that make Foot so interesting to watch.
Go and see Paul Foot; dinner at Yo Sushi! may not be to everyone’s taste, but it would be a dull life if every meal were the same.