Comedy review: Frank Foucault: The Desk, Paradise at the Vaults, Edinburgh

Real comic creativity
Real comic creativity
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If you are looking for a smart show then this is the one for you.

Frank Foucault : The Desk, Paradise at the Vaults (29) * * * *

Not simply because Frank Foucault spends fully six minutes of the hour simply saying the word “smart”, but because this is comedy packed with risky ideas (not the least of which is just saying “smart” for minutes on end) and full of unexpectable twists and turns.

If the mere idea of James Cordon engaged in fairly full on sexual activities worries you, then, sadly, this is not for you. I say sadly, for it is not all James Cordon on the receiving end of some extremely unlikely attention.

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Although there is quite a lot of that (but it is all from a serious novel, so it is totally, artistically justified). We also get a unique take on striptease, quite a lot of audience participation (my legs were soooo tired by the time Frank had finished with them) and a phenomenal coup de théâtre at the end.

There is also a joke, although it is entirely superfluous to your enjoyment of this extraordinary show. There is real comic creativity here, comedy with physicality teetering on the edge of clowning, and comedy with delightful literary skills.

Even the meta moments don't have the usual 'when I grow up I want to be Stewart Lee' ennui. Luke Smith, who has more than a hand in Frank's shows, is to be congratulated. This show is not just funny, it is very, very—what's the word⁠—smart.

Until 25 August.

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