Rob Rouse is a name I knew, but a face I did not, so it was great to finally be able to put a face to the name of this rising star in stand up comedy, at one of the Edinbrum Preview nights at the MAC in Birmingham.
Rob’s energy is consistently intense for the duration of his time on stage, perhaps reflecting who he is as a person. The general enthusiasm he presents his show with is admirable and would probably have been enough to see him through even if his material was sub-standard. But, of course this wasn’t the case and Rob’s delivery merely served to enhance what is already a well crafted, and satisfyingly personal hour, with material about his ‘wife’ and two young children, as well as delving (perhaps a little too far) into the details of his own health and recent visits to the doctor.
Throughout the show, especially towards the end, it appeared that a lot of what was being said was entirely impulsive, with Rouse bouncing off the audience as well as exploring his own ideas within the written show a little further. He showed skill in his noticing of which parts got the best reaction and running further with them, persistently driving ideas through to, and often past, their apparent conclusions, in order to get the most out of his material. Not only does this show great artistic bravery as a performer, it also allowed Rouse to demonstrate what an able storyteller he is, often delivering hilarious anecdotes that didn’t necessarily need any punch lines as such. The look in his eyes told us he couldn’t quite believe this untested, spontaneous material was going so well, which only added to the enjoyable element of comedic danger present in the room.
This hyperactive evening of comedy was greatly enjoyed by Rob’s audience and certainly, it was clear, by the comedian himself. It will be interesting to compare the end product of this show to the inner workings we were able to see.
Rob Rouse will soon be performing his new show across the UK.