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Rob Auton: The Sky Show - Brighton Fringe review 2014 by Sarah Agnew

Rob Auton: The Sky Show, Company: Rob Auton
Venue: The Burrow at The Warren, Category: Comedy
3, 24, 31 May, 1 June 17:00 £8.50 (£7)

Billed as comedy I was one of the ones he had in tears by the end and not from laughter.

Curious from the very outset, Rob Auton emerged from behind a poster hung across the mock medieval fireplace in The Burrow.  His style of banter, full of pregnant pauses along with disarmingly naive questions created an atmosphere that was open to a new type of show.   
Once the late comers were seated. "Thanks for coming" he said with a Yorkshire accent, before adding "I'm not having a go". He produced one of his props, a newspaper he had created out of the Sun, called the Sky. It had little content, with one picture made up of Andy Murray's shin. This led to an imaginary conversation with his Editor, "Do you remember that mantra I taught you? Shin in".  He introduced us to a new expression, Wood pigeon doing the sex neck and read us some prose poetry, one piece ending with the line, "remember son your sunset doubles as a sunrise".

The comedy was a little hit and miss, and the show felt like a series of fragments tenuously joined together. Then he read his final piece, which was a show changer.  Accompanied by instrumental music he read out a piece he had written about his mission to get to the moon. Collecting together every staircase he had ever walked up to reach the moon, including the odd spiral staircase, he took us on this journey skyward.  He looked up to see the structure he was building and wondered, "I've climbed every one of these steps, I have done it before I can do it again". People offered help and he kept climbing into the morning sky. He admitted that while working in a shop, every minute of which he had wanted to be somewhere else. He was climbing up memories that would never let him fall, these are his words. Different steps came with different memories. "I felt along way away from war and love and family."  The tears rolled down my face, I couldn't believe it, I'd come for comedy and had been moved by the most beautiful piece of prose poetry instead.

Rob Auton is that rare breed of original thinker, catch him this weekend or in the summer for his new show Faces. Whether he makes you laugh or cry, whatever he does it's worth watching. 
Sarah Agnew - follow on Twitter @IrishAggers

Rob Auton, The Sky Show at The Burrow

Rob Auton, The Sky Show at The Burrow
The Yurt Bar, outside The Burrow
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