Review: Paul Sinha – The Two Ages of Man

Faced with the prospect that he may be ageing quicker than he'd like, Paul Sinha delivers a solid hour of quips that should prolong his prime for now

★★★
comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 04 Aug 2018
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Paul Sinha

Paul Sinha is on the decline, sliding slowly into death with each passing day. His words, not mine. The Two Ages of Man (with recourse to some ropey channelling of Shakespeare) tackles what he sees as the duality of life's timeline. On the way up, and then on the way down. 

It's also his self-confessed way of attracting a broader audience, gunning for both ends of the age spectrum. The result is an entertainingly bizarre scattering of both highbrow and lowbrow gags. "If you got that Socrates reference, you're definitely on the slow march to death", he jibes. It's a scattily-structured hour, delivered at a slightly nervous pace, but he blindsides you with enough punchlines that it matters little.

His comedy has a sardonic bite that belies his otherwise soft persona (he's known as "the nice one" when he appears as a master quizzer on ITV's daytime show The Chase), and he's at home dishing out wordplay and self-deprecation in equal measure. 

The disjointed narrative thread leads us through tales of his life as a medical student, as an openly gay comic, and as one half of "British quizzing's number one power-couple". He doesn't quite possess the stage presence you'd expect from an established TV star, but perhaps he's at his funniest when his shyness gives way for a callous quip. When it comes to the titular ages, he feels he's firmly in the latter camp, but he's proven here there's plenty of life in him yet.