John-Luke Roberts: Stdad-Up 5***** - One4Review
one4review | On 12, Aug 2015
Do not be deceived by the blurb for this show. As we left, my cheeks and stomach hurt, so I know I had been poorless with laughter, but more immediate were the tears: regardless of whether the show is funny, above all else it is brutally personal, honest, raw and painful. John-Luke’s father died last year. This show, at its heart, is a tribute to his father, despite their evidently difficult relationship.
However, as fans would expect, Mr Roberts does not pursue the exploration of his feelings about his father via conventional stand-up. There are balloons involved. There’s a recurring French director’s commentary. Some motifs, pathos, monologue and dramatic revelations. An exquisite moment with peas. And some randomly assigned audience insults (no less effective this time round).
There’s lots going on in this show (a good amount in John-Luke’s own head) and it takes some large and confident strides towards being outright drama in places. It’s a beautiful exploration of grief: the funny is hilarious, but the pain is heartbreakingly painful.
Reviewed by Laura
Voodoo Rooms, 18:55