Julio Torres: My Favourite Shapes

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Julio Torres
Published 09 Aug 2017

Stewart Lee has a good bit about the extent to which miniature visual recreations can be considered "satire". With My Favourite Shapes (a contender for most literal title of the festival if nothing else), Julio Torres pushes the parameters even further, embarking on an exhaustive geometric jaunt into politics, pop culture and pregnant pauses.

The gist of the hour revolves around a conveyor belt of personified inanimate objects. With his phone positioned to film the desk in front of him, and a live feed of the camera's view being projected onto a screen, he introduces us to a series of shapes, toys, and trinkets. Each of these is given a name, and characterised according to Torres' zany perspective on society. It's the SNL writer's debut solo show, so it's refreshing to see a performer taking a creative risk on the format. 

Consequently it's impressive how much mileage he gets out of such a paper thin, repetitive conceit. But eventually the law of diminishing returns kicks in and it starts to drag, eventually stumbling to an anticlimactic conclusion. There's no structural rise and fall, just a bird's eye view of the assembly line of quirky articles before him. 

There's still lots of harmless fun to be had, though, and plenty of payoff to his lethargic, artful silences. It's tricky to know what to expect from an absurdist show-and-tell exhibition, but this certainly sets a decent bar for any prospective imitators to surpass.