10 Things I Know About You

MELBOURNE FRINGE: Psychology student turned entertainer, Simon Taylor, proves himself a master of his craft and a master of the mind in his latest comedy show.
10 Things I Know About You
It's hard to believe he could top last year’s performance, Pieces of Mind, but 23 year old psychology student turned entertainer, Simon Taylor, has done it again! Whilst last year’s show used mind games to teach audiences how to trick themselves into feeling happier, educated them on how to spot their lies and allowed them the ability to better interpret their own thoughts, 10 Things I Know About You is 50 minutes of intelligent comedy, high kicks, mirror balls and moon-walking to The Jackson 5 that will leave you convinced that Simon Taylor truly is a master of his craft and a master of the mind.

In essence, 10 Things I Know About You is an edifying exploration into the ways in which our minds bring to life our emotions, our senses and our euphoric desires. Broken down in to four sub-categories – morality, happiness, language and love – 10 Things I Know About You is Taylor’s blank canvas upon which he explores and validates each concept with a myriad of entertaining demonstrations that will leave his audience either in stitches, or in awe. Probably both.

Of morality, Taylor introduces the notion that our inconsistent sense of morality and inner guilt see us live by reciprocity; only if we receive (‘for free’) do we feel compelled to give “money to those ‘squeegee wind-screen-wiper-guys’ at traffic lights”. Of happiness, he urges by way of his song ‘First World Blues’ that we, as a society of privileged urban whingers, need only lower our expectations to find happiness. Of language, he shares his love of its versatility, complexity and nonsense by taking one long deep breath and listing every coffee known to those who know and do coffee best: arts students. Of love, he deconstructs it. With an electric guitar and a well-allocated ‘mum joke,’ Taylor exposes love as being an emotion based on adrenalin, fear and familiarity.

Taylor’s delivery is strong and his talent multifaceted. His passion for revealing the inner workings of the human psyche is married with an incredible ability to engage with his audience, involve them, stimulate them, interact with them. His performance is well written, concise, fluent and engaging.

Highlights include the intermittent ‘Myth Time’ segments that punctuate his discussions; his inclination to support every point with a dance move; the introduction of the term ‘slab of bogans’; the re-invention of the word ‘individual’; and his finale.

10 Things I Know About You is a performance that opens with a statement issuing a challenge and closes with the fulfilment of a promise. It is a unique blend of laughter and learning and its success is a testament to Simon Taylor’s intelligence and creativity.

Rating: Four and a half stars

Simon Taylor – 10 Things I Know About You
Trades Hall, Carlton
September 21 – October 8

Melbourne Fringe Festival
September 21 - October 9

Taryn Pollock

Tuesday 27 September, 2011

About the author

Taryn Pollock is a reviewer for ArtsHub. Formerly based in Australia, she has now returned to Glasgow, where she also contributes to the website www.theatreinscotland.co.uk