Paul Foot’s MICF show is Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon # Major. He squawks, bounds around the stage, and enjoys some frantic hip movement whilst telling odd tales. While he doesn’t explain the show’s title, audience laughter indicated that he hit the right notes for many on the opening Friday of MICF 2015.
In hair and costume, Foot looks like an escapee from a 1970s UK TV show (remember Man About the House?) with bonus glam. I’ve enjoyed Foot’s work of late on English TV shows such as Never Mind the Buzzcocks where he often summoned amusing nonsense amidst the cut and thrust of panel discussions. Given this history, I was quite looking forward to being surprised and entertained by his bizarre combinations of ideas.
A show that started with promise fairly quickly showed that it leaned heavily on a narrow register of strange for laughs. While clearly Foot has put effort into thinking up incongruous subject pairings, it didn’t take long for the juxtapositions to feel rather formulaic. More diversity of style might have alleviated this.
I was amused when Foot gave us a peek behind the curtain (figuratively and literally) through some of his revelations. These included advance warning that there were parts of the show that got laughs, yet no one – Foot included – knew why.
Overall though, Foot’s brand of composition, say through his short lines (roughly) like “School bus trip, fanta spill… have a wank” didn’t appeal to my guest and I, and suspect the show will struggle to satisfy those who’ve enjoyed a wittier type of quirky melody from other UK comics such as Simon Munnery or Milton Jones.
However, Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon # Major pleased the ears of many on this night, and Foot is certainly a virtuoso of manic performance.
Paul Foot – Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon # Major
The Hifi Bar, 125 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Performance: Friday 27 March 2015
Season continues to 19 April 2015 (no show Mondays)
Bookings: 1300 660 013 or online at: www.ticketmaster.com.au
For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Paul Foot (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte