Rob Auton: The Hair Show (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Rob Auton: The Hair Show

credit: Julian Ward

Hirsute funniness from the genre-bending comic

Rob Auton is nothing if not committed to his craft. Since September, he's been growing his hair and beard for his latest hour and he's not going to stop until the very last performance. Not just in August: ever. Much to his parents' ire, he's got a few bookings for next spring already.

His previous Fringe outings have also focused on one theme: yellow (The Yellow Show), water (The Water Show), sleep (you get the gist). But The Hair Show is one of his best yet. With his face already reaching Brian Blessed-levels of hairiness, Auton saunters on stage donned in a cape dripping with fake hair and an even hairier tie. If you didn't know better, you'd think he was auditioning to play a wildling. Instead, he launches into a typically meandering set of jokes, poetic musings and playful crowd interactions touching on a range of hirsute themes, from his mixed feelings about hairdressers to the way people's perceptions of him have changed since he's grown more dishevelled.

As always, it's endearingly shambolic but artfully put together. It feels like Auton is growing into his chaotic form; the final third particularly is the closest he's got to a cohesive stand-up set in the last few years, and had some in the crowd experiencing uncontrollable giggles. Today, his audience game is on point too: he turns the dial from hysterical to really very sad (there are tears) with ease, and he makes light, hilarious work of the reviewer in his front row taking conspicuous notes.

Auton is a generous, charming performer, with a strong fanbase, but if you're new to his work, The Hair Show is an excellent start. It's a warm, wonderful hour that proves there's no one quite like him at the Fringe.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 26 Aug (not 14), 3.55pm, £5 or Pay What You Want.

Rob Auton: The Hair Show

Award winning stand-up comedian and poet Rob Auton presents a heart-felt and offbeat comedy/theatre/spoken word show that explores hair and hairs.