Comedy review: John-Luke Roberts
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: John-Luke Roberts: Broken Stand-Up at The Voodoo Rooms (Venue 68b), reviewed by Jay Richardson
A wonderfully leftfield compendium of songs, gags, extended whimsy and twisted impressions, John-Luke Roberts’s latest show impresses and confounds in equal measure.
Opening by singing “Patricia Routledge” over and over establishes the sort of stubbornly idiosyncratic performer you’re dealing with and his aphoristic musings, delivered through his philosopher character Alan The Button, affirm the barking delivery that often makes it feel as if the audience are being subjected to his comedy, like it or not. Indeed, his best routine is a series of pre-prepared insults he assigns randomly to members of the audience; little nuggets of nastiness that savagely declare ugliness or stupidity.
Close behind that though is Alan Bennett in Space, an amusing take on the Yorkshire playwright, fully committing to his shift into science fiction. Elsewhere, visual gags are dashed off speedily via a flip chart, while other set-pieces, such as the Johnny Cash version of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt channelled through a comedy set of teeth, is inexplicable but supremely daft and memorable.
Not everything is as successful but you appreciate the risk-taking, because even when a routine falls a bit flat, you know there is something completely different coming along in a minute.
Originally published in The Scotsman