Olaf Falafel and the Cheese of Truth

★★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
30412_large
Olaf Falafel Cheese of Truth
Published 05 August 2016

The publicity for "Sweden's eighth funniest comedian" has played heavily on Olaf Falafel's status as a celebrated Vine humorist, which is understandable, given that it's likely his greatest source of international exposure. Fortunately, Falafel doesn't dwell on navel-gazing questions about the nature of social media; he simply employs the highlights of his internet-based humour with the ruthlessness and timing of any talented standup, using his six-second absurdities as a "sorbet" to punctuate his equally charming rapidfire live material.

Another key quality of The Cheese of Truth is that viewers will get more out of seeing Falafel on stage than they will by just ploughing through his Vine history – the experience is unquestionably enhanced by his presence, his improvisations and his good-natured but unpredictable relationship with the audience (Babybels may be involved).

'Surreal' is probably the most perennially over-employed and abused adjective at the Fringe, so it's nice to see a comedian who not only justifies the description, but applies surrealism in an almost utilitarian manner: jokes, concepts and images stripped down to the bare bones of what makes them funny, without unnecessary explanation or a wasted word.

Allegedly, the question at the show's heart is, "What makes a good man?", though this is quickly sidelined as an excuse to revisit Falafel's most infamous encounters on Vine – some cheese-based media satire, and a croissant gag that incurred the wrath of online Trump voters. The drift in focus doesn't hurt Falafel; he has a talent, rather than a weakness, for the tangential.