Comedy review: Rob Auton: The Yellow Show, The Warren, Brighton Fringe
Yellow and yelcome, yells Rob Auton at the top of his charming, eccentric and uplifting show. Before this, as the audience files in, he has spent a good 10 minutes festooning the room with yellow objects - dusters, rubber ducks, Marigold washing-up gloves, that sort of thing - as “Yellow Submarine” plays on a nerve-shredding loop.
This is The Yellow Show and you couldn’t criticise Auton’s commitment to his theme. Not for him a clever concept to hook in the punters that is jettisoned after the first 10 minutes in favour of a traditional stand-up set. No, this is a full hour of yellow with routines about The Simpsons, songs about bananas, talking car sponges and sherbet lemons. And, of course, thoughts on the genesis of that Beatles’ track.
The Yellow Show debuted on the Free Fringe in Edinburgh last summer. It now arrives at The Warren, a delightful pop-up Brighton Fringe venue with two performance spaces and a garden bar filled with bluebells and hay bales hidden behind a church and a car park off West Street. Auton is performing in what appears to be the vestry, which is somehow apt for his sermon on the joys of jaune, although as the laconic, lanky Yorkshireman in a yellow (naturally) cagoule tells us, he has never “done a gig with Jesus before.”
Auton, 30, is a talent to watch - a poet/ comedian/ illustrator, who combines the whimsical appeal of early Josie Long and the lo-fi artistry of Sam Fletcher with a hint of the menace of Tim Key. He treads a neat line between twee and threatening, one minute offering the audience sweets, the next demanding to know their favourite cheese. It is a little hit and miss but Auton has pots of charm – enough to persuade every member of the audience to don his home-made “yellowvision” glasses without hesitation and then to send them back out into the world 60 minutes later feeling a little brighter. I’d love to see what he comes up with when he’s not confined to just one colour of the rainbow. There’s gold here.
11, 25 May, 1 June (01273 917 272; www.brightonfringe.org)
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