Robert Newman’s New Theory of Evolution – Soho Theatre (11 February 2014)

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Rob Newman is an interesting chap. Going from being the dreamy one from The Mary Whitehouse Experience, and one of the first comedy rockstars to radical activist and fairly celebrated novelist. And, still, stand-up. His shows are a dense barrage of political and philosophical fact. Perhaps not instant, but very funny for making you work that little bit with him. Like all the best. So, his latest show New Theory of Evolution is exactly that. He argues that, far from being genetically selfish, life evolves through cooperation. He rips into the post-war macho anthropologists, and Dawkinsian libertarians. He cites the many and varied ways that all kinds of organisms (from slime mold to great apes) have developed through the communal need. Far from survival of the fittest, he reaches his own conclusion [SPOILERS]. All of which is a thinly veiled anti-capitalist analogy.

Newman’s performances are fast, intense. He demands that you keep up. Tonight, he’s distracted. He starts to wander from side to side. Examining walls. Obviously missing bits. He’s struggling. Really? Second time this week? He even breaks for the interval saying he’ll be back, even if we wont. Everyone does return. To be honest, I think he’s a little tired and emotional.

Still the show is ace and well received.

Comedians: If you think you’re bombing, keep it to yourself. Oftentimes, the crowd will not have noticed.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

12 February 2014 at 9:58 am

Posted in Comedy, Gigs, London

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