Stand Up Special Review: John-Luke Roberts

john-luke roberts all I wanna do

Despite hearing many wonderful things about him until yesterday I’d never seen the comedy of John-Luke Roberts, and it’s yet another thing I can add to the list of things I should have rectified years ago as it really is right up my street, if not actually in my house and lurking underneath my bed. Thanks to the lovely people at GoFasterStripe if you have never witnessed his full length shows you can also do so now, with “All I Wanna Do Is [FX: GUNSHOTS] With A [FX: GUN RELOADING] And A [FX: CASH REGISTER] And Perform Some Comedy!” available to buy either on dvd or as a download.

Now admittedly I like my comedy as silly and as absurd as it can be, at least 64% of the time, and this is what Roberts does so well. From the beginning he announces his love for absurdity in comedy, and how he has a manifesto for such a thing and that it’s important that not all art make sense. Not that this is all surreal madness which will leave you confounded, it’s just a show which delights in being crazy and unpredictable and weird without ever losing sight of making the audience laugh, and laugh an enormous amount at that.

Unlike many a full length show there’s no real narrative, but there is a theme, and that’s Roberts describing all of the twenty four Spice Girls who are currently missing. Because yes, while we might know and love Sporty, Scary, Baby, Posh and Ginger Spice, according to Roberts there used to be many, many more in the band and he spends the hour introducing them all to us, and while there aren’t many costume changes at all he’s able to inhabit all of the different characters in beautifully funny ways.

It would take an extremely long time to describe all of the Spice Girls that Roberts informs us about, and who then gives us a slight taste of what their lives are like, but among my favourites were 27 Babies In A Jump Suit Spice, Policeman Visiting A Primary School Spice (who has a particularly unique way of tricking potential criminals in to confessing), Narrator Spice (whose song at the end is a thing of beauty), and the sort of soap opera that revolves around the lives of Facts about the Romans Spice, Clarifications About Facts About The Romans Spice, and Facts About Facts About The Romans Spice Spice. There isn’t a less than unique and extremely funny Spice Girl in the show though, and my only wish is that he knew of 48 missing Spice Girls and the show was double the length.

It’s the kind of show where at one point Roberts is pretending to be a blood sucking vampire who has a truly terrifying fact about M&M World, and then shortly afterwards he’s praying to God and finding out why good people die. It has moments where he utters sentences like “I have terrible dreams where I’m soup” and “Your dog is deeply unfuckable”, and yet it all makes sense, even if it is a beautifully weird and fucked up kind of sense. So if you like your comedy odd and strange and daft and bizarre but never less than hilarious, you should obtain this fantastic show this very second.

★★★★ 1/2

Alex Finch.
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Related Links:
You can buy the stand up special on dvd, or download it, via GoFasterStripe.
John-Luke Roberts’ Official Site.

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