Price Includes Biscuits

If there were a prize for the solo standup show at the Fringe with the greatest number of comic props, Naomi Paul’s Price Include Biscuits would be a strong contender. She reads from cards, puts on a coat and then places it back on a hanger, offers the audience biscuits during a ‘biscuit break’, plays pop songs to help us understand her jokes, and performs several original musical numbers. 

Her jokes are clearly borne of a quirky and intelligent mind

As the title suggests, the show comes with biscuits – and much more. But while all these elements give her show a sense of variety, they sometimes seem like crutches and unnecessary distractions.

Paul is rather likeable as a comedian: she is calm and measured, gives off an air of restrained dreaminess, and errs on the side of understatement rather than exaggeration. Some of her musings about austerity are quite good. But while her jokes are clearly borne of a quirky and intelligent mind, many of the ideas feel underdeveloped rather than carefully crafted to amuse an audience - the sort of witty remarks you make to yourself in passing and then forget. 

As a result, most of her jokes, ranging from bra-fitting episodes to socio-political issues and the similarities between calling an Indian call centre and being in a long-distance relationship, are only mildly funny. The comic trick of reading out a name followed by its acronym feels laboured by the time it makes its third appearance.

Price Includes Biscuits probably won’t be the funniest show you see at the Fringe, but at least you get to sing along to a song or two and enjoy some delicious biscuits while you are at it.

Reviews by Toh Wen Li

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Using her Jewish background as her comedic platform, Naomi takes you on another satirical and hilarious journey: sometimes poignant, often surreal, always funny – and ultimately uplifting. From lingerie to libraries, from Birmingham to the Balkans, from the personal to the political. The way we live now. With handmade songs, stories and biscuits. ‘Terrific deadpan delivery of material that is topical and relevant. Audiences loved it!' (Pulse Ensemble Theatre). 'Articulate, dry sense of humour’ (Leicester Comedy Festival). 'The comic timing here is sublime’ (Fringereview.co.uk). ‘Brave, gentle, subtle, wry and curiously inspiring’ (Bruce Johns).