7 – 28 August – two shows every evening:
6.30-7.20pm at Opium and 10.45-11.35pm at Bar 50
John Robertson’s A Nifty History of Evil promises a funny and gory journey through the ‘best bits’ of world history.
Featuring puppetry, music and comedy with a dark edge, his show sounds as though it will be a dark highlight of PBH’s Free Fringe.
We caught up with John after his appearance at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival to ask him about his plans for Edinburgh.
Tell us a little bit about your show – where’s it happening, what’s it about, why should people come to see it?
A Nifty History of Evil is everything you thought you knew about the world, but with all the good bits put back in.
Bones get broken! Blood gets splattered! A couple of dogs explode! And you’ll finally see what the whole world has been crying out for: a puppet show about the Marquis De Sade!
Yessir, it’s a history lesson, but there’s puppets, ukuleles, a man- corset, vampires, Nazis, cannibals and decapitated aristocrats – all presented with gothic charm and menace by me!
Pop along and see it, it’s a U.K debut, it’s unlike anything else you’ll ever see – and it’s got all the info you’ll ever need to get away with murder.
Plus, I’m so charming and bloodcurdling you’ll laugh with joy and fear… and then, later, adoration.
How will you be promoting your show?
I’ll be everywhere. On street corners, standing under banners with fliers and abuse – I’ll be running around doing gigs in all the best places, on the Edinburgh outdoor stages, in pubs, in cracks in the wall, if a voice comes at you from a manhole – it’s me…
I’m working on getting interviewed by Peter Andre, because it’d be a childhood dream come true – and an adulthood nightmare made disturbingly real for Peter.
What are you expecting from Edinburgh?
Attendance, joy, exhaustion, glory, rapture, disappointment, adulation, camaraderie, losing about ten stone from all the running around.
That – and cider.
And what are you hoping for?
The attention you’d give any Messiah, without the crucifixion. Oh – and a BBC radio series.
If money was no object, what publicity stunt would you do to promote your show?
I would arrange a fleet of a hundred zeppelins to drive fly about fifty feet above the Royal Mile, while loudspeakers played chants of “ROBERTSON! ROBERTSON!”
Small explosives then would go off, showering the passersby with fliers and the lungs of particularly rare birds.
At this point, a great torrent of blood – literally, a million buckets of blood – would be released at the top of the street, washing everybody away, the crimson filling the cobblestones and the entire street turned into one massive red carpet.
Then I’d deny responsibility.
Who else are you planning or hoping to see?
I’d like see Mark Watson, I worked with him once – and he’s a wonderful man. Jim Jeffries, my old friends Cameron Davis and Bonnie Davies are doing a show just before mine… Ben Sutton in
Cabahooray… Hans Teuwen!
What do you have planned for after the Fringe?
Probably panicking! I’m on a club tour for the entire month of September, so I’ll be based in London and travelling the U.K over.
First gig’s in Plymouth, literally seconds after the Fringe finishes, so I’ll be fairly zipping about.
Finally, sum up your show in three words for us:
History. Puppets. Robertson.