With The Hair Show, Rob Auton introduces to the Fringe a show all about – you guessed it – hair. In a feat of comedic ingenuity, Auton places the very concept of hair under the microscope, pondering questions along the lines of, ‘how does hair know when to stop growing?’ and ‘is hair human garnish?’
Auton’s eccentric attire is a prelude to the slice of zany (not to mention hairy) humour that’s served up on the stage. He emerges wearing a suit that’s adorned with hair extensions and a tie composed entirely of artificial tresses. The whole get-up captures the audience’s attention before Auton has even opened his mouth (which, by the way, is concealed beneath the beard-and-moustache combo he’s been growing specifically for this show).
Auton’s style of delivery varies, offering an element of delightful unpredictability to an already exciting, ever-shifting show. His witty one-liners are often presented with a straight face and an unwavering monotone – but there is one occasion during which he launches into an impassioned, emotive speech about eyebrows, in a manner that suggests he cares a great deal about them.
The hair-centric anecdotes peppering the set bring yet more personality to The Hair Show, while the infrequent musical numbers – though feeling a tad out of place at times – add another layer of charming bizarreness to the show. Auton’s pensive, brooding tone and facial expressions might also seem a little at odds with such a light-hearted subject matter, but this all comes together to form an engaging and, above all, highly original show.
Not many comedians could pen and perform sixty minutes’ worth of material about hair. Then again, Auton isn’t like many comedians. A totally captivating stage presence and a set brimming with clever material about something many of us have (but few of us ever think about) helps him makes his mark as a unique, analytical and, of course, extravagantly bearded comedian.
Words: Morgan Laing
Photo: Julian Ward
Rob Auton: The Hair Show, Just the Tonic @ The Caves, Aug 16-26, 3.55pm