Phil Kay review - SkinnyFest 2

Article by Ed Witcomb | 14 Aug 2006
Phil Kay is one shaggy dog of a comedian. Clad in ill-fitting corduroy and a big woolly jumper, he uses the same entrance to his set as the audience. Later, after a lovely, long, jokeless description of his coastal village in Morayshire, someone actually raised his hand and - on receiving Phil's permission - asked a question. More 'fuzzy feeling' than gasping-for-breath-funny, it's a real privilege to spend an hour in such entertainingly surreal company. For despite his hippyish bonhomie, there's something inscrutable about Kay's persona which draws the audience in.

The cooperative nature of the set means that, while earlier shows have touched on kangaroos and Jaffa Cakes, we got Zinedine Zidane and the Kimberley Inn. Kay admits he's a bit feral - tired of the trappings of urban life, he camps in the garden of his palatial Marchmont digs while Tim Minchin gets his beauty sleep inside. And he extends this wildness to his set, which does away with any semblance of structure or material. He's not the only comic to toy with what it means to do stand-up, but few tread the line between comedian and raconteur quite so nimbly. He's brazenly whimsical and certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but Phil Kay remains an act to cherish.
Phil Kay, Gilded Balloon Teviot, until August 28 (not 21), 22:30, £11/£10 (£10/£9).