ROB AUTON: THE TIME SHOW | Edinburgh Fringe 2019

This is a five star show, but the audience doesn’t walk into a five star show. At first, Rob Auton busies himself with impersonating a stand-up comedian, giving humorous nods to his pretending, and warnings for those who might find them helpful.

Some of his jokes aren’t even jokes, and these are often the ones that bring the house down. Auton hasn’t written foolproof gags to satisfy any lazy listener — he’s reading the room, reacting to (and including) the individual energies of the array of people more or less fascinated, and more or less cracking up.

And then there are the times when Auton gets all deep and serious — he really does give time to existential truth, enough time to make some people uncomfortable — but then he breaks the tension with a flash of mundanity: how hilarious and how peculiar our absolutely ordinary lives are.

This show is for everyone, but if you think you’re not for the philosophical stuff, well loosen yourself up ready. Then you’ll be with him from the off, which is what a comedian of Auton’s calibre deserves.

At the end, as a serious bit rolls right into poetry, some audience members may not be convinced. Some might sit there thinking, “Ah, yes, this is nice, what he’s trying to do. But it’s not quite hitting the spot for me.” But Auton will not be rushed. He keeps going, keeps insisting on it, and a minute or two later the same audience members are in tears, full of life.

Go and spend an hour with Rob Auton if you want to rediscover that your life, and art, and existence at large, is far more than the sum of its parts.

Playing 2:50pm at the Assembly George Square Studios until 26 August 2019.

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