I hate reviews like this, reviews where I feel duty-bound to be a little more mean than I want to be, even a little more mean than I think a show deserves. Odd Paul is a good show and I think the best possible version of it is probably a great show but I can’t review that version because I didn’t see it.
I just want to get that out of the way before I start on account of – spoiler alert – I’m giving this one three and half stars. I want to give it the four I think it deserves but I can’t. The problem is one of energy. Maybe the room was hot (it was so hot), maybe it was a bad day, maybe Taylor was nervous but the beginning of this one was a slog. There’s no issue with material, no dearth of decent gags but it just took him too long to get up to pace and get comfortable. In fact, one the best jokes in the whole show is in the first five minutes. It just wasn’t quite enough to tide over until Taylor found his vibe.
Once he was there this was a wonderful show, absolutely packed to the brim with little gags and internal callbacks. Not a spare moment is wasted in Odd Paul. It’s all jokes, all the time. It’s also a delightfully silly show – fans of extremely daft puns and silly voices are firmly the target audience here. It’s nice to see something that’s mostly just nice and daft, an important counterweight to all the self-consciously serious comedy you often see at the Fringe. Not that Odd Paul doesn’t have any bite, just that this is a show that knows sometimes, a bit of nonsense is the best thing for the soul.
I’d recommend this show a lot. I think on its best days it’s easily a damn fine piece of work. It’s just a shame I think I didn’t catch it on one of those days.