INTERVIEW: Elaine Robertson | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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County Durham comedian Elaine Robertson is set to take the stage with her latest show, Delulu, appearing at The Stand on Tuesday 9th and as part of Durham Fringe Festival on Sunday 28th July. Known for her blend of surreal observational humour and audience interaction, Robertson’s new show promises to be a comedic exploration of delusion, authenticity and the human experience.

Delulu, short for delusional, is a concept that Robertson embraces both humorously and seriously. “A bit of delusion and false confidence has let me do the funnest thing ever – making lots of people laugh!” She shares. But delusion also has a deeper significance in her life, as she has personally experienced psychosis. This duality forms the backbone of her new show. “In stand-up comedy, people are really concerned with authenticity. Can an authentic experience also not be the truth?” Robertson challenges the audience to consider this as she recounts her surreal stories, such as supposedly seeing the American bassist and singer-songwriter Bootsy Collins on a child’s bike outside Domino’s in Low Fell.

Audiences can expect a performance that is both chaotic and compelling. “I’m a hot mess but people seem to be entertained,” Robertson admits, particularly resonating with diverse groups including the “girls, gays and theys.” Delulu ventures into more theatrical territory compared to her previous work. Robertson is excited to share stories from her time as a carer during the pandemic. “It was a very difficult time for everyone involved, but there were moments when it felt like we were having the best time out of everyone, dying our hair and having raging singalong parties. It made me realise how important humour is as a coping mechanism.”

I’m a hot mess but people seem to be entertained

Growing up in Consett has significantly influenced Robertson’s comedic style. “I grew up around karaoke legends and my mam, who’s the wittiest person I know,” she recalls. Robertson’s early involvement in musical theatre and her knack for creating elaborate stories to avoid school activities also played a crucial role in her development as a performer. “We used to skive off lessons all the time to sing and dance. I never went to GCSE PE or Maths because we made up this hoax for teachers that we were choreographing a dance for the principal. We weren’t but on reflection it’s weird no one questioned this.”

Robertson’s journey includes being a BBC New Comedian of the Year Regional Finalist. “I was having absolute kittens,” she admits. “I don’t even remember performing my set. I felt like I lived it for the first time watching it on telly live with my friends who I used to dance for teachers with. This was equally as surreal as being on the telly as we were in this tiny pirate themed room in bunk beds at Alton Towers.”

Taking Delulu to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this year is a dream come true for Robertson. “I can’t wait to have three weeks to just perform and watch comedy,” she enthuses, despite the logistical challenges. “Accommodation and production costs are expensive so I can only afford to tent out, but apparently there’s a big field of Highland cows which I’m buzzing about.”

Elaine Robertson’s Delulu is more than just a comedy show; it’s a journey through delusion, authenticity and laughter. Her unique perspective and engaging storytelling promise to make Delulu a standout performance.

Elaine Robertson performs at The Stand, Newcastle on Tuesday 9th and as part of Durham Fringe Festival on Sunday 28th July.


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