Rob Auton: The Talk Show (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Rob Auton: The Talk Show

Communication is key in a warm and frequently funny hour

Following on from shows about the colour yellow, the sky, faces, water, sleep and hair, Rob Auton's latest hour explores the forgotten art of talking. On this, the opening night of his Edinburgh run, he shoots the breeze with audience members, introducing strangers to each other and reacting with childlike wonder upon discovering two separate groups are from the area surrounding Stoke-on-Trent. His affable disposition and charisma mean he could pull this off for longer than five minutes, but his plans for The Talk Show are greater.

This is an absorbing hour that sits somewhere between comedy and spoken word. Auton has many strings to his bow as a performer; his voice soothes, his writing is both eloquent and uniquely strange, he can pull off puns and one-liners, but also delivers a poignant piece of short fiction about selling a house on planet Earth to aliens. He imagines his parents' first date and it's both touching and bizarre.

Despite the philosophical tangents, The Talk Show is still, at its heart, a comedy. A routine that considers what leaves might say (if only they could talk), triggers a prolonged period of laughter, and there are frequent moments of that kind in this warmest of shows.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 26 Aug (not 13), 6.10pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.

Rob Auton: The Time Show

  • 3 stars

More philosophical comedy – this time on the concept of time itself – from comedian and performer Rob Auton.