Phil Kay left us waiting for his latest offering, rushing straight from the airport to Bob and Miss Behave's Bookshop. But the atmosphere had been created via a tremendous stand-in stand up set from Tim Renco. His eventual arrival and subsequent set more than lived up to the expectations.
Not only is Kay's vividness a highlight, but his improvisations had the audience in raptures
Kay bustled in as you would expect: in true traveller fashion. He arrived in two shirts, clutching a guitar and his scraggy hair maintaining the impression that it most definitely has a life of its own. He launched straight into the nightmare story behind his journey here, a story so entertaining and witty that one feels it should become a permanent fixture of his future sets. Later in the show he even showed us the boarding card on which he had written a rough running order for his set.
He seamlessly continues into other stories from the past year which are equally enjoyable. Yet the true comedy of Kay lies not in the content of the narratives, but more in his delivery. His method of storytelling is unparalleled. He truly brings to life the setting, his surroundings and the scenario, so much so that he brings you into the story with him. Tiny details are identified and subsequently converted into comedy, whilst the similes are perfect. One becomes so engrossed in his vivid narratives, which become more and more ridiculous, that we lose complete track of time and the set seems to fly by.
The one shortcoming were the conclusions of these stories which seemed to fizzle away slightly without any real clear ending. I would not mind one jot if he fabricated an ending in order to give each narrative the finality it craves, but this would perhaps lose the authenticity of each story.
Not only is Kay's vividness a highlight, but his improvisations had the audience in raptures. Each aside appeared to be made up on the spot, or extremely well disguised to look so. He ended with a song all about a purple jumper belonging to a man in the second row. Even Kay became lost in his bottomless imagination for lyrics for his ditty, and the event was a true exhibition of his talent. He is most certainly a person to be jealous of; all the interesting stuff seems to happen to him.