John Robertson: Blood & Charm, Disturbing Tales for Disturbing Bedtimes

Article by Bernard O'Leary | 10 Aug 2011
  • John Robertson

This, John Robertson tells us, is a horror story. We will be drawn in, made to feel safe, then scared out of our seats.

There is one fictional story in this set, based around the memorable phrase "zombie vagina", but the rest are drawn from that most terrifying of places: reality. Robertson's led quite a scary life, from his dad's suicide to teenage experiments in S&M. All of these are retold with good humour and visceral honesty.

If there's a problem with this act, it's that Robertson's own talents work against him somewhat. He is fresh-faced and engaging with an obvious theatrical background, and a hotly-tipped comedian for a good reason. But that's not quite suited to his blacker-than-black material. When he repeatedly refers to himself as "your uncle John", it just draws attention to the fact that he's the youngest person in the room.

But if you can get over that (being under 30 should help) then there's a lot to like in this show. You absolutely can't fault Robertson for effort or dedication. He's taken some very painful memories and turned them into funny, spooky stand-up delivered with energy and unwavering commitment. A passionate show with plenty to enjoy.

John Robertson: Tales of Blood & Charm, Assembly Hall, 5-29 August, 22:30 £8/£9