Rob Auton: The Hair Show

★★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Rob Auton
Published 10 Aug 2017

There’s a delight to be had in a performer doggedly sticking to an imprisoning premise they've set themselves, especially when it turns out to result in meaningful revelations. Rob Auton’s show is about hair, and he's not shaven or had a cut since he settled on that topic many months ago. So he presents a bedraggled persona, with a beard big enough to leave a shadow and tresses that make him look like either Jesus or a vagrant. This has not gone down well with his parents, and he agonised earlier in the year over whether to make himself look more respectable for his nan’s funeral. But it's precisely the simplistic assumptions we make about people because of something as trivial as hair that this show challenges.

That might sounds mundane, but the show's power arises from Auton’s poetic use of metaphor that means hair comes to stand in for an individual's control over their lives. He asserts that the audience is his mirror, reflecting back to him the show's reception. Given his thoughtful and endearing personality, and a smart script that revels in its unabashed profundity, this is a enticing show, that persistently roots its philosophy in the quotidian. Its humour results precisely from Auton's insistence that reflecting on something as unnoticed as hair is a worthwhile pursuit.

Its effects can be measured in that I no longer think of my eyebrows in the same way as I did before. Auton himself would, I think, feel his goal’s been achieved.