Rob Auton: The Sleep Show (3 stars)

This article is from 2016

Rob Auton: The Sleep Show

credit: Julian Ward

Surreal chat about the world of sleep is an acquired taste

Following last year's Water Show, Yorkshire ponderer-poet and very tall comedian Rob Auton returns with The Sleep Show. Sleeping is something we all have in common, he says: people stage mass sleepovers around the world on a nightly basis, so what better way to unify his crowd? Drawing from Take a Break From Yourself magazine (his customised scrapbook of made-up quotes from celebs on their sleeping habits), Auton leads his audience on a surreal, stumbly journey through the subject of sleep.

Insomnia, snoring, hitting the snooze button and the sensation when a hand has gone to sleep are all explored, and the audience shout out details from dreams for him to analyse using one-word answers from a book. Maybe badgers could have been man's best friend instead of dogs, if only they had the same waking hours as humans, he muses. Auton likes a non sequitur, and avoids the traditional set-up and punchline formula in favour of more slow burning jokes, or perhaps just an odd contemplation.

His weary, out-of-breath delivery is an acquired taste, which some snoozers in the room obviously didn't acquire by the end, but there are glimpses of bleak insight among the slow strangeness. Maybe nodding off is taken as a compliment anyway.

Banshee Labyrinth, until 28 Aug (not 16), 4pm, free.

Rob Auton: The Sleep Show

  • 3 stars

A show about sleep from the York-born stand-up.