Olaf Falafel’s show is odd, but sadly not as odd as it thinks it is. The start of the show goes as absurdly as you would expect from the title and the poster; Falafel goes on stage playing a Toilet Duck as a saxophone, “performing” a deliberately awful version of Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street. The show has great bursts of creativity throughout it, and I'm a sucker for absurdist comedy, so I love it. It's a show that weaves in and out of genres, whether it’s prop comedy, musical comedy, or stand-up. After 20 minutes, it unfortunately became clear that much of Falafel’s act is relatively standard observational comedy, which doesn't sit well with the rest of his act.
Falafel’s style does distinguish itself when he is doing observersational material, however. The first half-hour is an interwoven series of callbacks to set-ups that had been dropped minutes before. Non-sequiturs are shown to have been set-ups to punch-lines delivered 10 minutes later. Although some of his jokes seem like they could have been part of Tommy Cooper's act, this retro feel seems strangely fitting for Olaf Falafel. However, some of his jokes do seem like they were written to be absurd, rather than funny.
However, Falafel’s actual content is sadly a little lack-lustre, and the topics themselves are somewhat well-trodden. For a comedian with such an off-beat style, his content does seem too pedestrian for him. The show itself did seem to be lacking more absurdity as it went on. The climax of the show is also a nice payoff, but the impact is lessened considerably by the overlong preparation for it. This is a problem that much of Falafel's material suffers from, and I would like to see less time wasted between the set up and the punchline.
Falafel still shows signs of real promise. His prop comedy, crowd-work, and use of multimedia add a lot to the show, and there is a lot of charm to his more old-fashioned jokes. I hope we see more of him in the future, and that he gets a lot stranger.