Fringe Review: Paul Foot: Dissolve

Alister Tenneb reviews Paul Foot: Dissolve at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

PAUL FOOT enters the room and immediately is right up shouting into people’s faces in a pretty full-on manner – possibly it’s his way of laying down the rules for audience engagement. I’m glad not to be on the receiving end of it. He starts the show with very high energy – but, after hearing and considering the content of the show, it’s easy to understand why. His delivery appears beautifully random, as are the routes he leads the audience down before bringing them back to the path once again. You get the feeling that Foot is a brutally honest man when dealing with some of his past.

Foot is obviously extremely clever and his wit when channeled shows true brilliance. I finished the show with a bit more of an understanding as to just how crippling mental illness and depression must be – Foot inspires through his recent epiphany and by the weight lifted off his shoulders with the breaking of his metaphorical glass box. The great liberation that he now feels in the complete loss of ego and not really caring too much about what other people think and by getting your own troubles into perspective.

A few uncomfortable and rather surreal moments when someone in the crowd – presumably either drunk and/or nervous – shrieked with laughter, with everyone else in the room thinking “Er, I don’t really think you should be laughing at that bit”.

An edgy performance and very dark in places, which is a total sell-out for the duration of the festival. Some comedians are perhaps lazily labeled “surreal”, but Foot genuinely is and at some points to a fantastically entertaining level. Superb.


Underbelly, Cowgate – Belly Dancer – find out more about the show at

Read more reviews on Scottish Field’s Fringe pages.

Plus, don’t miss the September issue of Scottish Field magazine.