Paul Foot Is Barmy Brilliance In A Boiler Suit

Paul Foot: Dissolve, Soho Theatre ★★★★☆

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Paul Foot Is Barmy Brilliance In A Boiler Suit Paul Foot: Dissolve, Soho Theatre 4
A man in a blue boiler suit, with blue background
Paul Foot has been going through ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Image: Jonathan Birch

The theme, hammers home Paul Foot — in a pounding prelude to Dissolve, in which he charges from table to table spouting some garbled metaphor that he himself hates about a berry-scoffing bird — is change. So it's apt that between the soup of and nuts of his 70 minutes Downstairs at Soho Theatre my own opinion of him changes from journeyman TV panelist to comedic mastermind.

Change, of course, isn't what it used to be. You can no longer walk into a hospital and donate three carrier bags of blood — now they have the affront to get you to fill in a form. Not satisfied with coming up with the piano, they had to go and invent the clarinet. I mean, come on.

But change can be wonderful too. Like the mute buttons on TV remotes, which nowadays automatically switch themselves off when you fiddle with the volume — so you don't wind up bursting the ear drums of half the neighbourhood. And a quite astonishing change that took place in Foot's own life at the precise moment of 4.59pm on 20 March 2022. The build up to this revelation — via a cacophony of increasingly unhinged musings on avenging a light-fingered bus driver who once did him out of two euros — is inspired. The sign-off to Dissolve is uncynical and remarkably uplifting. I wouldn't change a thing.

Paul Foot: Dissolve, Soho Theatre, until 24 February, but last few tickets available 16, 17, 20 and 21 February

Last Updated 16 February 2024

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