The show begins with John-Luke Roberts sat above the stage, perched, as a humongous Dracula. If anything, it’s more Orson Welles crossed with a Northern Dad. The show has a silly monster in the cupboard vibe, in the style of Hitchcock reading naff comedy horror.

Parts, like the inner monologue of spider, his bestowed nightmares and horrific threats are sublime. However, some concepts feel cobbled together from appearances at his Alternative Comedy Memorial Society gigs with Thom Tuck. Roberts’ crowd work is comical, all the comedy tropes are satirised, and his observational material is brought to insane levels of Northern exhaustion.

It’s still hard to see Monster as a complete show due to it’s disjointed and often over-reliance on playing off his lubricious costume. It could even be accused of being a weaker concept over-played, but it’s so perfectly pulled off that Roberts is magnetic to watch.

Words: Tom Crosby

John-Luke Roberts Builds a Monster, Voodoo Rooms, Aug 19-28 (not 24), 6:55pm

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