Claiming to be Shetland’s only female comedian, with violent reprisals threatened for any pretenders to her crown, Marjolein Robertson is a highly promising and delightfully original act. Perhaps only Michael Redmond or David Kay convey a similar, slightly touched impression of otherworldliness in Scottish stand-up.
Yesbar, Glasgow ***
But Robertson is unquestionably her own comic. The mythical storytelling, and indeed, alcohol-related traditions of her island are a tremendous influence upon her style, as are the drug-induced absurdities she borrows from her Dutch heritage and the eccentricity she wields from being a bona fide “cat lady” in her twenties.
While most comedians’ accounts of bad behaviour in Amsterdam are framed as stag party anecdotes, Robertson wonderfully inhabits and projects her dope-delusions, creating a semi-surreal world that playfully flits from useless arts degrees and contemporary one-night stands to 19th century fiddlers and trolls. Offering her faux-naivety as age-old wisdom, she’s practically a character act, her distinctive, sing-song delivery supplemented by clownish physical act-outs.
One rather suspects that the scatty segues between routines aren’t entirely intentional. And one, about her infatuation with a man that lends the show its title, is one of several garden paths she leads the audience up with no clear sense of where she’s going. But such rough, raw edges notwithstanding, Robertson unmistakably has abundant potential if she can apply greater clarity and focus while retaining the oddity that makes her special.