Paul Foot: Off The Top Of/With His Head, Holyrood Too@Faith, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture

Paul Foot's reputation as an eccentric and erratic performer means that when he's off form he's really off form. I may have winced more at other comedians because of their bad material, but Foot's crime is an apparent total lack of thought towards his show.

There are three hapless elements to his set: first, an uninspired ramble through every cliché of hotel-dwelling, from how the sheets are made up to the early start of the breakfast sitting, all described in a knowing manner rather than being insightful.

Then follows an aborted tale of an unsuccessful liaison with a woman, from which comes the only line crafted by Foot: "I may not be the world's best lover but I am a dangerous driver."

Finally, there's an improvised "play" based on the story of an audience member's accommodation woes in Edinburgh, but since Foot basically repeats what the audience member tells him with no embroidery it adds little value.

There are moments of banter that provide some bright spots, but nothing can remedy the overall shambles. I've rarely come out of a show thinking that both the performer's and the audience's time has been totally wasted, but this was just such an occasion.

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