John-Luke Roberts: All I Wanna Do Is [FX: GUNSHOTS] With a [FX: GUN RELOADING] and a [FX: CASH REGISTER] and Perform Some Comedy!
- Brian Donaldson
- 22 August 2018
Mind-warping hour which follows through brilliantly on its own absurd logic
'It's OK if you don't understand: it's sort-of the point.' Giving the audience permission to not over-think matters while viewing his show, John-Luke Roberts leaves us only one option: just let go and mentally embrace the ridiculous. Thankfully, this is a simple task given that Roberts has concocted another chapter in his 'manifesto for absurdity' that perfectly adheres to the rules it's set up for itself and, above all, is relentlessly funny.
First up, he tackles that mind-melding show-title in an inch-perfect opening gambit with a collection of lip-synchs and sound effects that indicate that this will be a meticulously assembled project. Garbed in a technicolour sports outfit topped off with a dyed blue moustache, he kicks off by questioning how the Spice Girls' roles were comprised. In the brain of Roberts, the natural consequence of this is to conceive a whole host of other characters who could have been a Spice archetype. These veer from the hilariously daft (Crone Spice casting mad spells) to the kookily inventive (Facts About The Romans Spice and his pernickety colleague) and which ramp up the hilarity as the characters' stories evolve and intertwine.
Roberts clearly threw everything at this new hour and you have to speculate in wonder about its original conception (what was the reaction from the first person he pitched it to?), the gestation period, and how he finally put it altogether on stage. Ultimately, this is a triumph of the artist's will and determination to follow through on an idea that others would have discarded at birth.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 27 Aug, 5.30pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).