Comedy review: Paul Foxcroft : Huge if True, Laughing Horse @ Ushers

This is a hugely inventive show from the start, as we go back to the 18th century to examine the origins of clapping, to the end, in a spiralling crescendo of excitement, as one of our number gets to play Finale-Quest to crown the hour.

Paul Foxcroft : Huge if True, Laughing Horse @ Ushers (Venue 442) ****

Paul Foxcroft has all the confidence you would expect from a man who has improvised with the best for most of his career. But this is tightly scripted stuff.

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There is autobiography (Foxcroft is a failed bio­chemist, for which we should be grateful, given the disasters he brought down upon the world while still at university), storytelling (turning a realistic eye on some of our favourite fairytales), an examination of the terrors embodied in everything from horses to Ghostbusters, a clever/stupid little character comedy sketch featuring The Hare (of hare and tortoise fame) and some quality straight stand-up on racism, Brexit and the misuse of the skull motif.

There will, one day, be an incredibly dark hour from Foxcroft on his relationship with his family, and it is hinted at all through this one, adding a little frisson of danger to an otherwise well-mannered show.

We wind down with a few moments pondering the worth of reviews, illustrated by reading a few from public review websites before ramping up the excitement to eleven with that game of FinaleQuest.

I might just keep going until I get to play, it is ridiculous amounts of fun. This is his first solo hour, amazingly, and it is a cleverly-crafted mix of comedy genres. Not many performers can pull this off but he does so with aplomb.

Should you sit beside someone in an audience who simply shouts “I like this!” all through a show, that is the Foxcroft effect in action.

• Until 26 August, Today 1:15pm