John Robertson: Let's Redecorate! (4 stars)

This article is from 2015

John Robertson: Let's Redecorate!

Darkly funny tales of sex and death from theatrical Aussie

With his shock of white hair and black attire, Australian comedian John Robertson vividly resembles a pint of Guinness. He remarks that he needs no amplification and, dispensing with his mic, he prowls around the stage and in among the audience like a panther.

Robertson's stock-in-trade is dark material, with a focus on sex and death. He and his wife have an open relationship and their sexual escapades account for many of the eye-watering tales. There are candid stories about threesomes, BDSM, fetish nights and autoerotic asphyxiation. But it was his best friend's recent suicide that inspired this year's show and, while much of his material is shocking, there are some touching insights on how it feels when a loved one takes their own life. His take on well-meaning sympathisers is especially on-point, and his acrimony at people hungry for suicide details is a nice line in measured rage.

That's not to say Let's Redecorate! is by any means a downer. Robertson is a master at engaging with individuals in the audience as if it's all part of his scrupulously written script, and the unpredictable cadence of his performance is remarkably theatrical as well as consistently funny.

The Stand 6, 558 7272, until 30 Aug, 2.50pm, £10 (£8).

John Robertson: Let’s Redecorate!

  • 4 stars

John Robertson John’s best friend died and now he’s got some pretty good jokes about the worst year of his life. You like dark, filthy Australians just after you’ve had lunch, right? ‘His material is edgy, intelligent and smoothly-delivered’ (Age). ‘A manic and quick-witted revelation’ (Scotsman). ★★★★★ (Skinny). ★★★★…