If the term, ‘Most Intellectual Masturbation Joke at the Festival’ makes you chuckle, then Simon Taylor’s show Personal Best is the show for you.
Taylor possesses a charming stage presence, his awkward banter with members of the audience at the beginning winning over the crowd easily before he announces it’s time for the show to start. However it’s safe to say that it has already started, Taylor’s easy crowd banter setting the theme of labels that he’s following for the night.
Personal Best explores the regions of Australia and the way society judges and labels people for different reasons, Taylor utilises the stereotypes that come from certain cities (Adelaide, right?) in a witty and charismatic set up, playing out characters that leave the audience laughing. His flawless impression of the dolled up ladies at Melbourne Cup was a personal favourite.
Taylor’s comedic style has less of a direct path than some shows you may see. Instead, he sticks to the classic standup: a mix of jokes about his life and the environment around him. He is quick to improvise when involving members of the audience, crafting his jokes around the personal details he gathers up from them, pulling them out later in the night for another anecdote.
The only downside of the night was Taylor’s recollection of a past girlfriend, the lead up involving a familiar anecdote of falling for someone, mixed in with a few almost classy penis jokes, to an ending of almost self pity which left the audience only chuckling awkwardly.
With all of Taylor’s talk about placing labels on people, it is almost ironic that the man in question comes off as just so Melbournian, from his appearance to his mannerisms. It ties the show together in a way, enhancing his persona and the ease in which he strings his material together. You will leave the show glad you came, and definitely wanting to see more.
On another note, this may all be a little bias as Taylor did sing me a love song from the stage mid show.
Personal Best is playing until April 19th, at The Butterfly Club. Get tickets online or at the door.