Given he was nominated for 2011 Barry Award and has received the same accolade this festival season, you'd expect Paul Foot's Still Life to be simply outstanding. Instead, the show resembles a fierce onslaught of nonsense and gibberish, with maddening tangents aplenty bound to polarise audiences.
The first twenty minutes of Foot's act is purely self-referential, the comic dwelling upon the manner of his own introduction to the Town Hall stage. Wandering up and down the aisles, Foot indulges in unnervingly eccentric behaviour, his wild contortions good for a laugh or two. The fact that this kind of thing endures long after it's amusing is a major problem, though. Such is Still Life's downfall: Foot often refuses to push onward, stubborn in his tremendously silly, absurdist approach to comedy.
How silly does it get, you ask? There's a stretch in the routine in which Foot discusses Piecre Brosnan and cockrels. On a basic level, we can all agree that's ridiculous and probably a bit of fun if the whole absurdist thing is your bag. However, it hardly needs to be exploited and laboured over for several minutes - right? Well, Foot does exactly that, frequently yammering on about nothing, rendering Still Life boring until its next long-overdue segment. Even then, though, you can't really rely on the gags that await. The tail-end of the show, for example, involves Foot speaking gibberish. It might be performed as a comic device, sure, but at the end of the day it's still gibberish and it's appallingly lazy.
Overall, Foot miscalculates concerning the mileage of his material, his relentless silliness eventually becoming tedious, the show plodding along without urgency.