Comedy review: John Robertson: Dominant

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Long-haired, blond Australian sexual deviant John Robertson knows his audience.

The Stand Comedy Club 5 (Venue 319)


His demographic, he tells us, relies heavily on computer games enthusiasts, nerds 
and people who are into S and M.

In this show his mission is to dominate the room and to demonstrate the parallels between comedy and sexual power play. He’s only partly successful. Fascinating as it is to hear about his 
unconventional sex life, his theories about his sexual predilections are pretty half-baked.

There’s a lot of standing on chairs and shouting and some unnecessary, unpleasant and possibly staged rudeness towards his audience. But it is fun to watch Robertson playing with the crowd. He’s been blessed with abundant charisma, a love of wordplay and a capacity for risk-taking which makes him exciting to watch. You get a real sense of jeopardy and a sense of danger and it is refreshing to see someone take so much pleasure in their own rampant virility.

The finale is a thing of joy and wonder and I’m almost tempted to give it away. It involves physical punishment, audience participation and Frank Sinatra. 
And for some, carefully-selected members of the audience, it seems to offer a genuine sense of release.


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