Owen Roberts: I Let a Six-Year-Old Write My Show (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Owen Roberts: I Let a Six-Year-Old Write My Show

Wild and surreal frontiers of a child's mind

Owen Roberts stands on stage as Shrek's Lord Farquaad, dressed like a chicken. 'What the fuck is this?' he cries. 'You've paid good money to watch a grown man shitting eggs!' This isn't Roberts' show, really, having been scripted by his girlfriend's six-year-old daughter as the result of an amusing quid pro quo, the gist of which is 'I'll help you with my homework if you write my Edinburgh show'. Kids write the best jokes and – judging by his contributions to Isabella's education – he got the better deal.

Roberts presents a charming hour of comedy about the wonders of a young and vivid imagination, with all its bizarre frontiers. Putting his art in the hands of a child means punchlines and coherent set-ups go out the window. In their place, the wonderfully nonsensical tale of Boss Stern and the Clumsy Police is told.

Roberts is faithful to the source material, which is piped over the sound system, a bossy reminder to stick to the script, please. This is a touching performance about love and family, and although the show's repetitive nature becomes apparent at the halfway stage, it's all tied up in a first-rate finale.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug (not 13), 4.45pm, £8–£10 (£7–£9).

Owen Roberts: I Let A Six Year Old Write My Show

Owen Roberts describes how he let a six-year-old take the reins after a bad case of writer's block.