Review: Marjolein Robertson

A breezy and mischievous hour from the small islander

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 15 Aug 2022
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Marjolein Robertson, photo by Trudy Stade

Shetland is underrepresented in live comedy – if you Google “Shetland comedian”, Marjolein Robertson’s website is the first hit. The subarctic archipelago is closer to Norway than it is to Edinburgh, and this remoteness – both geographically and, in Robertson’s words, culturally – has been the basis for a lot of her material to date. It features in her charismatic new hour Thank God Fish Don’t Have Hands as well, but there’s a lot more going on here too.

Robertson is just the right mix of breezy and mischievous behind the mic, with a penchant for misdirects and the classic pull-back-and-reveal. And while the set does meander – perhaps a little too gently at times – there’s a quiet build towards an earnest exploration of ADHD, via her experiences as a “small islander” at a big city university, which caps off the show with aplomb.

There is a huge amount of potential here, but the writing could bite a little more sharply than it does. She is confident with the crowd, but less so with her material; some gags are a smidge too obvious, which is a shame when the set’s highlights show her at her weirdest. Robertson has a unique voice; we’d be blessed to hear more of it.