mon 03/10/2022

Rob Rouse, Rewind the Fringe review - unstructured but gleeful fun | reviews, news & interviews

Rob Rouse, Rewind the Fringe review - unstructured but gleeful fun

Rob Rouse, Rewind the Fringe review - unstructured but gleeful fun

From fart gags to gendered language

Rob Rouse will shortly be appearing in the West End

It's a pleasure to see Rob Rouse back doing standup, as these days he's as well known for his acting – he plays the idiot savant Bottom in BBC's Upstart Crow, the theatre version of which is opening shortly in the West End after its 2020 premiere run was truncated by Covid.

Rouse performed his latest comedy show, No Refunds, at the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Fringe last month and it's now possible to catch up with it on comedy streamer NextUp, which is running Rewind the Fringe, a week in which it is showing live recordings of shows at the 2022 festival.

Rouse, wearing a shirt a little on the tight side over his new beer belly (“a lockdown gift”) starts the hour by ribbing his new West End thespian status with a fart gag and then tells us to lower our expectations – but there's no need. He is a comic with funny bones and even when a gag goes wrong, it provides a laugh.

He sings a bit, does some characters, tells observational gags and makes use of lots of cheap props as he makes funnies out of such disparate things as home schooling, growing old and gendered language. It's about as unstructured as you can get without being chaotic, but Rouse does it with such warmth and obvious glee that it's catching.

Among the 30-plus performers featured in Rewind the Fringe are Nick Helm, Tony Law and Eleanor Morton.

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