Rob Oldham: Worm's Lament
- Brian Donaldson
- 25 August 2018
A show with plenty gags but bumps along the way
Rob Oldham is all about the first impressions. If that's true then he starts off shakily by berating a latecomer who arrives after not a huge amount has happened in his show; later on, though, he is perfectly within his right to be irritated at the person who leaves early, insisting she has a valid excuse (it sounds like a whole load of cobblers) as she totally disrupts his flow mid-story. But by the end, he has won over any doubters with his pointed criticism of Jack Black, his hilarious tonal poems, and his over-riding narrative of him fretting too much.
There's melancholy and poignancy abounding in Worm's Lament, but as an audience, we're not allowed to wallow for too long given that Oldham's gag rate is so high. Directed by Liam Williams, it has hints of the Sheeps man's solo back-catalogue of semi-impotent railings against the world, but Oldham has plenty fresh ideas to make a name for himself: his musings on escape rooms and Latvian javelin-throwers are great.
Rob Oldham feels like a comedian who wants people to love him unequivocally; that will be easier if he can keep a lid on his impatience, no matter how annoying the circumstances that might conspire against him.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug, 9.30pm, £9–£11 (£8–£10).