Paul Foot’s shows are always absurd, with only a vague grasp on reality. But this year there is something far more tangible about his material. Image Conscious has more popular culture references scattered throughout than previous years; has the world worn this comic down? This new turn for Foot is definitely a step in the direction of mainstream, but the reliability of it is somewhat refreshing.
The core of the show, a winding narrative about how to host a decent orgy, has Foot’s trademark madness written all over it. He layers details of setting, character and circumstance until he works himself up into a shouting frenzy. This is what Paul Foot’s fans come for.
These moments where Foot’s material flirts with reality are very satisfying. A particular stint about his hatred for Greg Wallace is particularly entertaining. We’re used to seeing Foot screaming at the top of his lungs about shire horses and fire engines, not BBC cookery shows. Foot is an expert at introducing various celebrities and celebrity has-beens into his ridiculous narratives, and this show is no disappointment. The things he has us imagining the likes of Clare Balding and Ronny O’Sullivan doing should not be repeated.
Leaving Paul Foot’s show feels like waking up from a dream; reality becomes a bit of a haze. At one point Foot had thrown pickled gherkins at the audience. Classic Paul Foot with an edgy twist, Image Conscious is unlike anything else you will see at the Fringe.