Skip to content

FringeGuru

Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Edinburgh 2012 arrow Paul Foot - Kenny Larch Is Dead
 
Paul Foot - Kenny Larch Is Dead
Published on Friday, 10 August 2012
2

2 stars

Underbelly, Cowgate (venue website)
Comedy
2-14, 16-26 Aug, 7:30pm-8:30pm
Reviewed by Martin Lennon

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

It's fair to say that Paul Foot, with his signature hairstyle and intergalactic vagabond appearance, has his own individualistic style.  And with his look, so with his comedy. Based on TV appearances and endorsements from comedy royalty like Noel Fielding, expectations were high for what was a sold-out gig. There is no doubt that Foot has the ability to become a well-known name at the Fringe, but on the basis of this show he still has a lot of work to do.

For the first half of the show, he somewhat chaotically reads out material on topics ranging from Linda McCartney sausages to lesbian salmon. Maybe realising he had lost the crowd towards the halfway point, Foot switched to crowd participation.  It was really only in the last minutes that he saved the show from becoming a failed experiment, finishing on a high note of anagrams, witty one-liners and strange words meshed together.

True, he did manage some comic highlights with jokes on Jesus and the devil and genius one-liners like, "meet me at the velcro dodgems” (maybe you had to be there). At times, he was also able to skilfully mix deadpan storytelling with an air of spontaneity which leads you to wonder just what would happen next.

However, there was no flow in the routine, symbolised by the repeated use of the non-sequitur “meanwhile” to flip from one unfinished joke to another. What was missing was a lack of balance between surreal storytelling and any sense of continuity. His obsession with former Brookside actress Sue Johnston was funny at first, but as it transpired became cringeworthy, especially when he sat on an audience member’s lap for a few minutes and cried. Such gags just became messy and underprepared.

While performing, Foot would often refer to his notes for cheap laughs.  It wasn't clear whether it was a deliberate ploy to mislead the audience or if he genuinely was using the material he had only just written. He commented to an audience member that you become "more of a footnote in your story,” unaware that this was clearly happening to himself.

Kenny Larch Is Dead fails to live up to the clear potential that Paul Foot has.  I think he is trying to approach barriers in a way that not many comedians have done before, and not quite managing to do it.  Towards the end of the gig he spoke of how his management were trying to pigeonhole him to make his work more marketable.  That would be a shame, I think: the cult of Paul Foot will grow, and he clearly did have his fans in the audience.  His comedy is certainly not mainstream, but he does have the talent to go from a mere court jester to a new king of comedy.

<< The Snail and the Whale   Abigoliah Schamaun: Girl ... >>

FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Edinburgh 2012 Five Stars

5 stars Comedy
Totally Tom


5 stars Comedy
The Magical Adventures of Pete Heat


5 stars Theatre
Bye Bye World


5 stars Comedy
Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers


5 stars Comedy
Truth


5 stars Theatre
The House of Shadows


5 stars Cabaret
Briefs


5 stars Theatre
Made for Each Other - Free


5 stars Comedy
Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive


5 stars Comedy
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams


5 stars Comedy
Hannibal Buress: Still Saying Stuff


5 stars Comedy
The Blanks' Big Break


5 stars Theatre
A Clockwork Orange


5 stars Comedy
Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble


5 stars Comedy
Martin Mor: A Man You Donít Meet Everyday


5 stars Theatre
1984


5 stars Comedy
Swedenborg, the Devil and Me


5 stars Theatre
The Trench


5 stars Theatre
Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut


5 stars Theatre
Joyced!


5 stars Theatre
An Evening With Dementia


5 stars Comedy
Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna


5 stars Theatre
Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke


5 stars Comedy
Chris Ramsey: Feeling Lucky


5 stars Comedy
The Horne Section - Live at the Grand!


5 stars Theatre
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found


5 stars Theatre
The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle


5 stars Theatre
Songs of Lear


5 stars Cabaret
Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man


5 stars Comedy
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure


5 stars Comedy
10 Films With My Dad


5 stars Theatre
4.48 Psychosis


5 stars Theatre
As You Like It


5 stars Theatre
Appointment With The Wicker Man


5 stars Comedy
Jessie Cave: Bookworm


5 stars Comedy
Morgan & West: Lying, Cheating Scoundrels


5 stars Theatre
Hearts on Fire


5 stars Theatre
Rainbow


5 stars Comedy
Chris Dangerfield: Sex Tourist


5 stars Comedy
Chris McCausland: Not Blind Enough


5 stars Theatre
Chatroom


5 stars Comedy
Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway


5 stars Theatre
I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You


5 stars Comedy
John Robertson - The Dark Room - Free


5 stars Kids'
Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger