Paul Currie – Cats in my Mouth

Paul Currie feels like he doesn’t belong in 2017. Not because being relentlessly cheery seems to be have been banned for the last eight months. Not because his stage attire and beard make him look a bit like some kind of futuristic Celtic warrior from Neo-Gaul. Not even because he’s so nakedly nostalgic for the 80’s. No, it’s because Paul Currie is a jester. He’d be right at home delighting a king in some great medieval hall, spilling mead and ale down his beard, hopping from table to table singing and hooting. That’s not to say say he belongs in 1066 either, it’s just that other comics feel like the product of their life and times. You don’t get that with Paul Currie, because Paul Currie was born to be daft, no matter when he might have been born, and he’d find a way to do it even if his audience was Cro-Magnon and all he had was a cave wall and some elk blood.

Like his last show, Cats in my Mouth, is an erratic, participatory fever-dream, where the audience is as much a part of the show as him. It’s not as simple as getting someone on-stage for a few minutes either. He’s a true rabble-rouser, getting the entire room to join in on his inanity and joy. He whips the crowd up into this child-like, euphoric frenzy of comic imagination and camaraderie. It’s a genuinely unique skill, and worth the price of entry alone.

In the same way that children can turn the most mundane objects into anything they can imagine, he has this incredible ability to make almost any bog-standard household shit frighteningly funny, whether it’s a bowl of milk, a potted plant, or a bin and a tin of sweetcorn.

This show has one of the few things in life, that without any hyperbole, had me almost crying laughing. There are slow moments here and there where it feels like Currie is just trying to catch up to himself, but given the sheer manic energy of it all, it’s hard to dock points for. A completely wonderful time that had everyone from teens to fifty-year-olds in stitches.

★★★★ and a half

Keiran Burnett