Rob Auton: The Time Show, Assembly George Square Studios * * * *
This year it’s Time – what is it, how does it begin, how does it end, what does it do.
He asks the audience to count, to check their watches, to play games about being early or late.
Can we imagine life without time? Does it serve us or control us? What does it really mean to be here, now?
Auton strolls around the stage, clutching his battered book of ideas, picking out jokes and poems and ideas.
He seems terrifically shy and his Yorkshire voice is deceptively deadpan. But it is not long before the audience tunes in to his playful, joyful rhythm of speech.
The comic has been thinking about birth and death - about what it means the first time your heart beats and what happens when a heart stops beating.
He imagines the diary he might have written as a newborn baby – discovering the world anew, but without any experience to compare it to. How does it feel when you experience time for the first time. How does it all begin?
Auton plays with words, conjuring up delighted bursts of laughter with the interplay of ideas.
He’s not afraid of the pauses, welcoming and stretching the silence, experimenting with the gaps between one thought and another.
The show ends with a heart stoppingly beautiful poem about time passing, like bubbles popping one by one.
Auton is one of those comics who has a devoted following, who would not miss his Edinburgh show and whose affection for this quiet man you can feel in the room.
For others he is an unexpected delight - someone who makes laughter out of wonder and who brings us all together, in this room, at this particular moment in time.
Until 26 August