Tony Roberts – Late Night Ace High [FringeTIX]
Tony Roberts @ Puppet Palace
11:59pm, Sat 12 Feb 2011
There’s only a dozen-or-so people from the lazy Saturday-night Garden crowd who wander into the Puppet Palace; we all fit in the front three rows with room to spare. And, to be honest, it worked out pretty well; it created a very intimate performance, and Tony Roberts was quite quiet and restrained.
Opening with some sleight-of-hand rope tricks, Roberts then eases back into a bit of comedy – there’s a surprisingly grubby Princess Di joke wodged in there, the quiet delivery a sly trick in itself. He then pulls his mark for the evening out of the audience (was that Trevor Crook?), for some quite cool card tricks; the shuffling of the invisible deck is certainly not something I’d seen before. He grabs his guitar for a couple of songs – I swear I’ve heard the excellent Eighteen Minutes to Orgasm before, and the naked motorcycling with musical accompaniment was also pretty good (if crass), and he closes with a really neat card trick involving a third of the audience.
In short, Late Night Ace High was a decent old show, even if the small crowd lacked the energy you’d want from this sort of gig. I was entertained and mystified, and I guess you can’t ask for much more than that.