John-Luke Roberts: Broken Stand-Up (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

John-Luke Roberts: Broken Stand-Up

credit: Steve Ullathorne

Refreshingly random stand-up

A welcome deviation from the numerous observational comedy shows at the Fringe, the talented John-Luke Roberts performs a refreshingly random set aided by his various quirky (and extremely well-drawn) illustrations and props.

He occasionally slips into different characters, most of whom are called Alan, but some of these skits aren’t representative of his obvious abilities. He’s at his best when being wonderfully weird, delivering punchy one-liners and indulging in some clever wordplay. Prospective audience members should prepare themselves for the ‘Extraordinary Alphabet Routine’, some species-reassignment chat, how marriage may have panned out for an immortal Henry VIII and the first time a performance of Johnny Cash’s ‘Hurt’, has made anyone laugh. The more of this stuff the better.

A large portion of the show involves the comedian systematically insulting members of his audience with some pre-prepared zingers recited from a stack of cue cards. He then takes pity on the crowd and ends up directing his anger at an apple. It sounds potentially cringe-inducing but thankfully, Roberts manages to pull it off.

The Voodoo Rooms, 226 0000, until 25 Aug, 4.15pm, free.

John-Luke Roberts: Broken Stand-Up

  • 3 stars

Vigorous sort-of-stand-up from co-founder and host of The Alternative Comedy Memorial Society, half of sketch group The Behemoth, writer for Radio 4’s The News Quiz and star of 2010 hit Distracts You From a Murder. '…unique, highly accomplished debut hour from a talent to watch' ★★★★ (Time Out). 'Fantastically ornate but…