Simon Taylor began performing at the Butterfly Club some 7 years ago, and has since moved to LA and started writing jokes for the biggest names in the biz. Simon Taylor Does A Whole Bunch of Cool Stuff is only in town for a few more days, so if you're in for a night of chuckles, joy and fun, spend some of it with Taylor.
The show's name, while it may seem vague, is a perfect summary of what the show entails. It's Simon Taylor Cabaret – singing, a little dancing, plenty of magic, improvisation and a good whack of comedy. Everything except a strip-tease, which I have to admit, I'm disappointed about.
What exactly might this show have in store for you? You'll learn some tricks of Taylor's trade, like how to sing a good song. Start off low to draw us in, then get big. Close your eyes to make it seem more emotional. Definitely have some falsetto, because it's cool stuff. Then, watch him put his skills into good use.
He also makes fantastic use of his audience, even when we give him nothing. Roger, from Perth, and Kathy his wife, were not the most forthcoming, but Taylor turned their involvement into lots of laughs, improving a song from the few morsels he was able to drag from the voices in the darkness. Somehow, he turns this into a great song, having us laughing while admiring his talents.
For someone who says he's afraid of singing, he's a beautiful singer, and the musical pieces in the show are all delightful, for many reasons – his voice, his improvisational talents, his humour and performance skills. Most remarkable is his ability to tell us exactly how he's manipulating us, and still play us as expertly as he plays the piano.
Did I mention there was magic? I happened to be the lucky person chosen to assist with a card trick. It involved some cards. I was too busy giggling like a fan-girl to notice much else. He's so damn charming!
So that's the tip I need to give you - sit up close. It's an intimate show, and you'll get the most out of it if you're brave and sit up front, and respond when he talks to you. He regularly chats to the audience, and even our Perth visitors only needed a little prompting to respond. He has a knack for making you trust him. His enjoyment is genuine, and you can't help but feel it. It's clear that he loves interacting with his audience, and he's brilliant at weaving us into the show.
My favourite moment was when he told someone off - mid-song - for videoing his song about songs. He managed to apologise in song, then apologise again later, and requested a make-up hug after the show. The way he achieved this was hilarious; his annoyance then embarrassment and concern was so clear, it made us (or just me?) like him all the more. Seriously, who videos in a tiny cabaret performance? I love that he told them off. He also said he'd send them a link to the song afterwards. Everyone wins.
Just like you'll win, when you go see the cabaret jackpot that is Simon Taylor.