When Rob Auton is summoned onto the stage by a heckler in the crowd (that would be, himself) he arrives sheepishly with a weighty stack of notes, a bit like a substitute teacher assessing how merciless the class before him is.
Admittedly, Auton’s humour might not be for everyone – it’s quirky, surreal, and spaced out. The format of his show is entirely pulled from an online article on public speaking, one that he searched up before his wedding speech. Auton traces across this Wiki-how numbered format, assessing each piece of advice by taking it upon himself to demonstrate. He also gets the crowd involved too, especially in a big game of ‘rock, paper, scissors’ that bizarrely gets related to wartime Germany.
When Auton abandons his notes for a moment, you can catch glimpses of his comedic whims which is frankly quite fascinating to watch. Whilst there are some milder jokes peppered through the set, some of which are hit or miss, Auton manages to steer The Crowd Show to a completely surprising and heartfelt conclusion.
Auton declares the entire audience before him the ‘VIP section’, reminding us to treasure the crowd of people around us. The Crowd Show is about connecting with people, and this ending really hammers home the point. It’s not a remarkably unique message, but there is something quite special about it as someone sat in a post-COVID audience watching a show in person. The end of the show turns to an earnest spoken word, which is quite an emotional experience. It ties up all the loose threads and rabbit holes that Auton’s comedy sends us on, and leaves everyone in the crowd with a profound feeling of togetherness.
When you leave the venue, you’ll be carrying the warmth of Auton’s final message in ‘The Crowd Show’. A message that makes you reevaluate your place sat in the crowd at any show. There’s a charming sincerity about Auton and his slightly awkward presence on stage but that is what makes The Crowd Show all the more endearing.