John Robertson: Arena Spectacular! (4 stars)

This article is from 2016

John Robertson: Arena Spectacular!

Donning the Victorian undertaker look and dreaming of playing in a stadium

There aren't many one-man shows with this level of energy throughout. John Robertson bursts into a room where no one is safe, whether you're in the back row (let's face it, it's not that far away) or if you're one of his three reviewers. Generally known for The Dark Room (the interactive show that's so thrilling that it's induced at least one panic attack), for Arena Spectacular!, Robertson has decided he wants to do a stadium gig and given he reckons he's too weird and too much of a pervert for anyone to let him, he's created one for himself with some shiny paper and a surprise ending.

But for all this bluster, what is truly special about Robertson is his ability to beautifully craft a great gag on the spot. He claims to have no theme this year as no one close to him has died, whether it be via cancer or suicide. But he doesn't need one: all this is breathlessly funny throughout regardless.

As well as being highly skilled in milking an observation for a big laugh, he's an interesting guy, dressed like a natty goth / Victorian undertaker with plenty tales of sex-dungeon birthday treats. And besides, you can't go wrong with a man who weaves Nick Cave into a joke can you?

The Stand 2, until 28 Aug (not 15), 3.40pm, £9 (£8).

John Robertson: Arena Spectacular!

  • 4 stars

High octane comedy from the manic Australian.