In theming his show around the cult film Back To The Future and its two sequels, it was clear from the outset that Paul Kerensa’s performance at the MAC in Birmingham was going to be an interesting experience, particularly as someone with a limited recollection of the trilogy other than the obvious standout features (aka time travel and hoverboards).
This comedian has an openness which borders on vulnerability on stage, meaning that he appears to be very approachable and is immediately liked by his audiences. Kerensa used his interpersonal skills to ensure that this somewhat niche topic did not alienate any member of the audience. Over the hour, he managed to make the subject matter accessible by all, using Marty McFly’s adventures as a springboard for more relatable material.
There was an unavoidable sense of nostalgia throughout the proceedings, with Paul clearly differentiating between his experiences at the Edinburgh Festival in 2006 performing Back To The Futon (part one) and where he finds himself now, having since married and had two children. The show itself is ambitious as Kerensa experiments with technology to create a homemade time machine, which seemed to still be in relatively early stages of production (understandable, of course, when you consider the difficulties of combining pre-recorded video with live stand up comedy).
The show was imperfect, but it was a preview after all and the flaws in the production helped maintain the friendly atmosphere that James Acaster had established an hour earlier. I have no doubt that the finished product will delight Back To The Future fans and general comedy enthusiasts in equal measures.
Paul Kerensa is currently performing preview shows across the UK and will be taking the completed show to Edinburgh in August.