COMEDY REVIEW: Rob Newman @ The Stand, Newcastle (15.09.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The best comedy gigs are often those which have much more subtle things going on than the obvious; the ones which make people laugh not at the anecdotes of the comedian but at themselves.  The best comedy gigs, on reflection, are those which give us the gift to self-reflect. 

That said, you’d have to have a pretty high self-opinion to even imagine seeing yourself in the anecdotes of Rob Newman; perhaps the zenith of intellectual, academic, comedy.  Filled with references to academia and philosophy, Newman’s tour de force is a journey around the ancient philosophical world, reflecting great teachings and suggestions back into our modern world and the life choices we make.  A little overly rehearsed in places, and lacking spontaneity, Total Eclipse of Descartes is a brilliant piece of writing designed to influence our behaviours by getting under our skin ways that most lectures do not. Neither forcing an opinion, or asking you to arrive at one, the show presents interesting revelations about human behaviour, and mixes them with funny asides to showcase an interesting story arc combining personal revelations with great philosophical thought. 

Delivered in a way which results in clever academic titillations, rather than laugh out loud moments, Total Eclipse of Descartes is more interesting than it is humorous.  But when you’re as funny and original, not to say bright, as Newman, you can get away with pretty much everything. 

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