John Robertson: A Nifty History of Evil

What was originally billed as John Robertson’s A Nifty History of Evil became a show of improvised comedy at the Caroline of Brunswick, with Robertson creating an entirely new experience that brought Jesus and Satan together. Robertson is naturally funny which he showcased with an ability to play with the audience; this kept the laughs flowing even as the comic himself seemingly succumbed to madness.

Prior to the show Robertson had told me it was a work in progress, and indeed he fulfilled on this promise.

Prior to the show Robertson had told me it was a work in progress, and indeed he fulfilled on this promise. There were signs of structure, for instance when he shouted “Who has ever laughed at a funeral?” which sounded like we were starting to flirt with a script, but his material was blossoming off the back of our reactions and thus in the full hour we were only treated to the one dark anecdote.

Robertson was on form tonight, and sixty minutes of improv flew by all too quickly. He confessed himself that the show the previous night was not well received, but as we had an audience member who looked like Jesus; one who confessed to be Satan and a third who was miraculously gifted hair under his fedora by mystical forces, what could go wrong? You might not be so lucky, but then perhaps you will bear witness to a scripted performance of the titular show.

As a comedian, Robertson works a room extremely well, handling participation and interaction to customise the performance so no two shows will probably ever be the same. Though this may not be A NIfty History of Evil as described on the flyer, the insane personality and charisma that Robertson possesses did not allow the energy to falter and his final act (which he choreographed using audience members as the show progressed) was greeted with massive applause from those still in their seats.

Reviews by Thomas Wolfe

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John Robertson: A Nifty History of Evil

★★★★

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Puppets! Blood! Men in corsets! It’s history’s best bits jammed together in a critically acclaimed hour of mayhem, murder and vampires that don’t sparkle. SEE! The Marquis de Sade fail to pick up prostitutes! WATCH! Grigori Rasputin refuse to die! MARVEL as Vlad Tepes and his Amazing Stakes do their thing! “A manic and quick-witted revelation” (The Scotsman), **** (The List), ***** (The Skinny)

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