Newman, though, has turned this to his advantage. Without the burden of a continuous following, coming to the festival has given him carte blanche to reinvent himself. More mature and serene, Newman's stand-up routine is funny, original and quite grown-up, really. And he appears comfortable with it.
He tackles political issues head-on, not afraid of making a serious point, about the greed of big business, say, perfectly disguised in a sarcastic quip. The show also provides some more basic humour, most notably the story of Newman's break-up with his girlfriend at Tribal Gathering last year. Its finale, which includes a pendant, a projector and adultery (in no particular order) borders on the absurd. And herein lies Newman's skill. He combines surreal events with mundane situations to great effect. Add a couple of excellent impersonations and the cocktail on offer is pretty much complete. "You forget how great stand-up is," he told me afterwards. And we'd almost forgotten how good he is. Newman by name, new man by nature.
Rob Newman is at the Assembly Rooms until 31 AugustReuse content