Monday, 27 January 2014

Exeter LOL Comedy Festival Review: Robert Newman's New Theory of Evolution

Rob Newman 2014 Comedy Tour 
Anyone going to Robert Newman's show expecting to hear a gently introspective retrospective set like that which his former partner in crime David Baddiel delivered at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer, will be pleasantly surprised at being totally wrong.

Sunday night's sold out 'New Theory of Evolution' show at the Exeter Phoenix was a brilliantly considered medley of surreal musings, charming anecdotes, a well read basis for his new theory of evolution and a little bit of ukulele. I won't go into the theory itself, because I hate comedy show reviews that spoil the punchline, but in the end I fully was convinced. There is a thread that carries through the show, something that seems to be a running theme of his body of work for the last few years in fact, that as a society we have the potential to do better...and should at least make an effort to do so.

So while the show is in almost no way observational comedy - there is brief mention of his daughter and possible reference to an unnamed postman friend - it is not impersonal at all. You are laughing with him as he shares things that he's concerned about, cares about and may be attempting to influence, ever so slightly, with this new theory of his.

Sat in the audience I was reminded of Mark Thomas, Robin Ince and on occasion even one Mr. Stuart Lee, in that it's a show with a thesis that makes you think as much as you laugh. I like this. It makes me happy. It makes me pleased that there are people in the world that still find wonder and amusement in what everyone else takes for granted. These people are messengers that make sure that we don't just let daily nonsense pass us by unchecked and keep a keen eye out for ducks who are fluent in French and Flemmish.

More comedy on at the Exeter Phoenix and throughout the city as part of the LOL Festival until 7 Feb.

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