Friday, 28 February 2020

French-trained comic’s still clowning around

French-trained comic’s still clowning around

ALL stand-up comedians have a keenly developed sense of the ridiculous, the idiotic and the absurd. But John-Luke Roberts is in a league of his own.

A sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe inspired his first full national tour last year.

Now he is back on the road with a new show that pays homage — or should that be “hommage”? — to his apprenticeship with the legendary French clown and acting teacher Philippe Gaulier.

“After Me Comes the Flood (But in French)” is coming to Reading’s South Street Arts Centre next Friday (January 31) and Norden Farm in Maidenhead on Saturday, March 14.

We are promised, in John-Luke’s words, “an hour of clever idiocy”.

The Fringe show on which this tour is based was described by comedy website Chortle as “unflaggingly funny” and “a relentless tempest of insanely inspired shenanigans; a dizzying parade of mad skits and eccentric characters, all built on a nugget of peculiar innovation.”

While the show isn’t actually in French, the country has done far more for John-Luke than inspiring its title. Did he do many shows in France whilst training with Gaulier?

“Only as part of the course,” he laughs. “We had to do end-of-term shows. I was terrified then, and I would be now, if he came to one of my shows.

“I still remember how he would sit there expressionless watching us as we performed, a drum on his knees. If he became bored with how we performed, he would start beating a rhythm on the drum with his fingers.” It almost sounds as though Simon Cowell might owe the Frenchman some royalties for the success of Britain’s Got Talent.

Does John-Luke have any comedy influences from this side of the Channel?

“Oh, there are absolutely loads — some you don’t quite realise how much they have inspired you. I have recently binge-watched Victoria Wood as Seen on TV and realised how much she inspired what I have done, especially the characterisations in the ordinary domestic environment. Then there is Douglas Adams’s brilliant Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and I grew up watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” With such a wealth of inspiration, is comedy writing something that comes easily to him?

“Sometimes I can write one to 10 on a piece of paper and then write 10 jokes. Sometimes you wait until the inspiration comes.

With that, I always keep my notebooks with my ideas in, good and bad — then when I have a moment and I read back through them I can sometimes look at a joke I wasn’t happy with and the penny drops — I know how to make it better.”

Sometimes making it better means another comedy outlet for John-Luke, who writes for other comedians as well as TV staples like Have I Got News for You and the sitcom Bull, which he wrote with Gareth Gwynn for UKTV.

“You can think of a good joke, but it is not really my style,” says John-Luke. “But it could be perfect for someone else I write for — like, say, Tom Allen. One major difference in me writing for other people is I try and say the lines as they would. I can do a very good impression of Tom, and when I do that writing for him becomes easy.”

For a full list of John-Luke’s tour dates and to book tickets, visit www.johnlukeroberts.co.uk/live

John-Luke welcomes you into his crazy world of insanely inspired shenanigans, a dizzying parade of mad skits and eccentric characters as it twice enters the same orbit as Berkshire. He appears at South Street Reading on the 31st January, and then Norden Farm Arts Centre on 14th March. John has fond memories of South Street “My earliest recollection of South Street, but a good one was about ten years ago. I toured there as the warm-up artist for Josie Long.”

For full details on his tour please go to www.johnlukeroberts.co.uk/live

The funnyman enjoyed a sold-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe — a success that inspired him to embark on his first full national tour.

This will see him play Reading’s South Street Arts Centre next Friday (January 31) and Norden Farm in Maidenhead on Saturday, March 14.

His show After Me Comes the Flood (But in French)

CITE REVIEWERS

After Me Comes the Flood (But in French) drip splosh splash drip BLUBBP BLUBBP BLUBBPBLUBBPBLUBBP!!

Fri 31 Jan, 20:00

The critically acclaimed idiot John-Luke Roberts returns to the road with another ridiculously long titled show this autumn.

GET ALL TOUR DATES

In a brand-new hour of extraordinary daft-hearted comedy, expect to not know why you are laughing once more...even when he gives you the punchline first. Jokes about staring into the Nietzschean void, the stupid decisions of kings and how Pinocchio can save the world all might make appearances in this hour of absolute silliness. But then again, maybe they won't. Who knows what could happen!

Age guidance: 14+

John-Luke Roberts reaches Reading with his latest tour and another ridiculously long-title “After Me Comes the Flood (But in French) drip splosh splash drip BLUBBP BLUBBP BLUBBPBLUBBPBLUBBP!!”. We are promised in his words “an hour of clever idiocy” and his Fringe show on which this tour is based was by Chortle as "A relentless tempest of insanely inspired shenanigans; a dizzying parade of mad skits and eccentric characters, all built on a nugget of peculiar innovation...Unflaggingly funny."

France has offered more to John-Luke than supplying the source quote for the show, a Gaulier-trained actor as well as a writer and comedian. Did he do many shows in France whilst training with Phllippe Gaulier? “Only as part of the course, we had to do end of term shows. I was terrified then, and I would be now if he came to one of my shows. I still remember how he would sit there expressionless watching us as we performed, a drum on his knees. If he became bored with how we performed, he would start beating a rhythm on the drum with his fingers”.

His inspiration has also come from a wide variety of comedy from this side of the channel as well

More News:

Latest video from

VIDEO: Tributes paid after rugby player's death
 

POLL: Have your say