Writer: Rob Auton
Reviewer: Fraser MacDonald
Humour is a subjective matter, which is always worth remembering before entering into the murky den of The Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow. Rob Auton, in his Hair Show, proves that his quirky comedy may not be to everyone’s tastes but is undeniably clever.
Rob Auton’s zany trip into his head is preceded by his support act – a man who looks and sounds remarkably like the headliner himself. Of course, Auton is his own support act though does well to stick to his allotted 20 minutes before the interval, where he presents a revue of his previous shows. This is also a chance to prepare his audience for the onslaught of madness that is about to unfold.
Organised chaos is the perfect description for The Hair Show. Total pandemonium is only a hair’s breadth away, but Auton does well to give the appearance that he’s lost control whilst keeping everything just under the reigns.
The subject of hair itself is more than just a little disconcerting. If the ridiculous hair-emblazoned suit [yes, really] wasn’t enough to churn the stomach, then the homemade calligraphy-by-hair backdrop will certainly do the trick. An unusual topic to fill an evening, Auton’s written word is poetic and skin crawling at the same time – a situation that would never have been previously contemplated by his unsuspecting audience, one expects.
The talent of his writing is undeniable, with some seriously good material diluted against his lengthy set. He acknowledges, not that it has to be conceded formally, that some of his jokes are better than his others. Certain anecdotes make Auton visibly emotional but struggle to find a place in the already confused world he has created for his audience.
A condensed running time could well have been the saving grace to this show. Where genuinely great and clever stuff is lost amongst misplaced personal reflection and mediocre jokes, the merits of the blue pencil could go a long way.
Reviewed on 16 April 2018 | Image: Contributed