Twenty-four-year-old Simon Taylor has a bachelors degree in psychology and wants to share some insights with you about what he’s learned about the human brain. The scientific insights were pretty superficial, so if you expect to learn much maybe following one of Taylor’s tips for happiness is appropriate here: “Lower your expectations”.
Taylor displays talent in playing guitar and piano, however these pieces are not always convincingly integrated into the narrative, and some of the links between sections could have been better developed.
While a number of audience members got some good laughs, I found some of the material familiar, such as a spray on how we’re spoiled for choice with all the different types of coffee available.
Credit where it’s due, Taylor did convey his enthusiasm for psychology, did bring the different threads together in his conclusion and there was a well-executed magic trick. Taylor has a toothy smile and energetic stage presence, and he is prepared to dance for your pleasure. Keeping the pace up meant that he kept cruising through the material, so any bits that didn’t work didn’t hang around long.
I suspect that if you’re a festival animal and have seen a lot of shows over the past few years that this show may lack the novelty factor required to make it stand out, particularly as there is so much competition for your festival dollar. However, if you’re new to the carnival you may find this an entertaining hour delivered with energy. Taylor has chosen a subject that differentiates his act from a lot of the observational comedy around, and with some more development of ideas and awareness of what doesn’t quite work this comedian could deliver very good shows in the future. He is already gives better value than some of the dross around (see the Van Park review). If you’re wavering, go along to enjoy the kitschy chic of the Butterfly Club and support a venue trying to be a bit different.