Rob Rouse: Opinionated with Facts
For comedians selling their wares, I would think interviews could be a pain; weeks on tour a drain; and so, phoning Rob Rouse on his day off from touring the UK, I don't know what to expect.
He answers with a theatrical "Hello!", as though he's just stepped into the lights of the Apollo stage, and it's a pleasure. "I'm having a great time" is his take on the tour thus far; "it changes daily." There's genuine enthusiasm – "I feel more alive than ever before" - as he describes his life as a stand-up and, importantly, having become a father for the second time. It is that which inspired his current show.
"It just made me more aware how antisocial people can be – teenagers and so on - and I've become more intolerant. But at the same time I realise that what I'm seeing is just people growing up". He stops to consider the dichotomy and continues, "I guess I am more opinionated now, but I'm opinionated with facts!"
I ask whether his regular appearances on the small screen alter his approach, but he suggests that, although it does help keep him afloat ("don't get into the arts if you want to make money!"), stand-up is still the backbone. "Telly might hang around longer," he says, "but that's not what makes the live performance better."
He considers this his best routine to date, having "let it fly out, using stuff that would work in clubs, with more confidence; it's more loose." And it's clear that he's about more than his familiar bum and ducks jokes. At once he's discussing the catharsis of standing in front of an audience, "trying to articulate my inner thoughts and feelings, not picking on people - everyone's got their own story," and in the next he's delightfully describing an audience as having "rolled over to let me tickle their dirty tummies." It's this balance which helps mark him out as such an impressive, likeable chap.
For a show ostensibly about parenthood, he describes it as "utterly unsuitable for children." I'd suggest that if he's as enjoyable on stage as he is to talk to, it's sure to be one fine night out.