Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – John Robertson

I've had that John Robertson in the back of my lounge. A while back I was unable to go to his Dark Room show so he very kindly came to me to perform a bespoke intimate version. It was great fun but I am sure it is better when there is a crowd of people competing in what can only really be described as a live, immersive video game. If you like to indulge in funny, potentially scary choose-you-own-adventure activities this will be right up your street. Robertson, originally from Australia, is very sharp and quickwitted, as he has to be, because he never quite knows exactly what is about to happen in his own show. His forthcoming late-night run at Soho Theatre has a special Crhistmas theme. The winners even get a baby Jesus to take home. It says "full-size" on the press release. All I got was a T-Shirt. The Dark Room is at the Soho Theatre on December 11 & 12. Robin Ince is special guest on Dec 12. Tickets here.

 

 

1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt)?

About a second before I hit the stage, I throw my arms out and roar! It divides the crowd into People Who Are Delighted By This and People Who Aren’t Going To Enjoy The Next Hour. 

 

2. What irritates you?

Bullies, racists, death, depression, the well-meaning, people who lower their voices when they want something, cats that don’t understand they just exist for me to pat, and realising too late the person you’re talking to is completely insane. 

 

3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

When I was thirteen, I got lost in the Australian outback with my high school cadet instructor. My mother had taught me to be very wary of older men, so it was a stressful day of me clenching my bottom and dying of heatstroke. When the sun went down, we swam across a river towards our camp. Another teacher heard us splashing and shone their torch across the water. There were crocodiles everywhere.

 

4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

 

I dropped acid back in early 2013. I spent twelve hours sexually attracted to a lava lamp and three months completely paranoid that my brain had been damaged. Never touched another drug, never buying another lava lamp.

 

5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?

 

Occasionally women from my audience bite me as a way of suggesting they enjoyed the show. It’s very nice, but applause hurts less.

Also, most of my hecklers sit in the front row, about three seats in, on the left. They tend to be greasy Goth fops, rambunctious French women or very, very lonely, angry men who host quiz nights. (These last ones don’t bite, mostly because there’s nothing as toothless as someone whose job it is to tell tourists, “Sorry, the correct answer was Cat Stevens.” ) 

Interview continues here.

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