Moj Taylor has spent a great deal of time and effort in the pursuit of crappiness. Believing that crapiness (not happiness) is the burning issue of our time, and that we live in the craposphere (not stratosphere), then this piece is about encouraging us to learn from and take a fresh positive look at the shituations (you get the joke) which continually arise in our daily life.
As well as offering us his opinions, Taylor has conducted 'research' on all this, which he shares along with stories of his own shituations. The show is presented in lively lecture style, with a PowerPoint presentation involving his poll results, illustrative photos and pictures, and some scientific data which he hijacks into comedy material.
Taylor's presentation skills are excellent; his energy is well pitched, he holds the room, and has clear and varied voice and speech. It is unsurprising, therefore, to learn that he's an actor with good training behind him. The moments in the show which I enjoyed most were indeed the acting sections - his portrayal of people through facial expression, voices, dialects and movement, bringing us characters from within his stories. The overall narrative, however, fell a little flat for me. He does make some relatable observations, but his storytelling in general was no more than amusing.
I like the intention of bringing something before audiences which encourages deeper thought, reflection, and the transformation of the unpleasant into useful life lessons. But the premise for this show is flimsy. The ideas presented here, as though they are revelations, are actually all fairly obvious and simplistic.
That would be fine if there were plenty of on point, funny jokes packed in, using the subject matter purely as a loose vehicle for the comedy. But what I in fact felt was that there were ten minutes of good material spread thinly over an hour and ten minutes – which, moreover, took him over his allocated running time. Errors with timing should be well and truly ironed out so late in a run, and I felt very sorry for those following him.
Despite all that, I'd like to see Taylor again in a character-based piece - or a comedy lecture tackling a more creative, original subject. While this piece didn't hit the mark for me, I think he has a great deal of potential.