John-Luke Roberts: After Me Comes the Flood (But in French) drip splosh splash drip BLUBBP BLUBBP BLUBBPBLUBBPBLUBBP!!
- Brian Donaldson
- 12 August 2019
An innovative and challenging hour of absurdist fun
Is there a comedian at the Fringe with better comic timing than John-Luke Roberts? With nothing to bounce off other than his own material, his lightning quick comedic reflexes turn routines that could fizzle out in lesser hands into exquisite gems of semi-absurdist hilarity.
His performance on this evening is all the more remarkable given the things that were thrown at him during the hour. The inexplicable presence of a fully conscious baby (you can't blame the wee one, to be fair) does lend Roberts the odd moment when he has a human reaction to spar against, but the audible gurgling and chitter-chatter is a distraction to the crowd from time to time. Arguably worse was the moment when his big banner containing graphics and words crucial to the evening's enjoyment failed to unfurl. A spot of coaxing by a stage tech eventually brought the banner (and the house) down, but just when Roberts must have felt he was free of glitches, his cheek-mic packed in.
Despite these three impediments to a smooth gig, the comic (dressed in a suit, crown and green moustache with a buttercup attached) weaved them almost effortlessly into a show where he plays multiple characters, conducts two-way (or more) conversations that might veer off into inspired improv territory. Meanwhile, we're on the look-out for the joke or routine which will culminate in one of the many punchlines printed on the aforementioned banner. After Me Comes the Flood … is just another excellent and innovative Fringe extravaganza from John-Luke Roberts.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 26 Aug (not 14, 21), 5.30pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).