I find it incredible to realise that I hadn’t seen anything of Newman’s work since a recording of the televised “Live and In Pieces” Wembley gig. That was over 19 years ago. Considering he became a novelist, activist and anti-capitalism campaigner, though, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. Coincidentally, he’s toured with Mark Thomas who I saw only last month.
Tonight’s visit to South Street was part of a series to test out material for his new “Robert Newman’s New Theory Of Evolution” show. I hadn’t really paid much attention to the title on the ticket so was pleasantly surprised to hear a lot of scientific content.
The 90 minute set (without interval) was an impressive intertwining of several storylines, including:
- Evolution, the Selfish Gene and Mutual Aid
- Peter Kropotkin and his escape from prison
- Hans Christian Andersen over-staying his welcome at the residence of Charles Dickens
so he would move from babysitting baboons to storytelling for sausages, interspersed with some ukulele playing.
It was obviously “work in progress” as his notes came in handy from time to time, which was fine as Newman was working out what to keep or change for the final version. For a tenner I felt I really had value for money – I learned some more science and had a laugh at the same time.