Comedy review: Paul Currie: The Sticky Bivouac
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Paul Currie: The Sticky Bivouac at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), reviewed by Jay Richardson
A cross between Doctor Brown and Tony Law, though more verbal than the former, more directly engaging than the latter, and with a wide variety of props, absurdist clown Paul Currie begins his hour behind his curtain, projecting a hand on a long pole.
Alternately stimulating the audience’s scalps and slapping them about the face, as a visual metaphor for his show, it’s pretty near the mark.
Currie demands you engage with his oddness and gets peeved if you don’t. That’s not always easy though, as he aggressively manipulates expectation and tension, seeing his set-pieces through to their weird ends with a manic, wild-eyed intensity.
His boredom with conventional stand-up is evident from the intentionally humourless gag he cracks about women’s periods, crying “Comedy! Comedy!” with thinly disguised disdain.
Brooking no argument about audience participation, his routines are varied, though a duet with a puppet on A-Ha’s Take On Me is a single gag stretched out for the song’s entirety.
Anti-comedy can be a smokescreen for a lack of jokes of course, and Currie’s irritation with a restless crowd does him little credit, especially when he sticks so doggedly to his guns. A messy, cornflake-cramming finale at least ensures he ends in irresistible triumph.
MORE INFO: Paul Currie: The Sticky Bivouac at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), until 26 August
Originally published in The Scotsman