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‘Leave to Enter’ // Nick Robertson and Good Chat Comedy Club

‘Leave to Enter’ was self-deprecating.

Young Brisbane-born and Melbourne-based comedian Nick Robertson gave a solid effort Sunday night at the Good Chat Comedy Club, with the hour-long show ‘Leave to Enter.’

Billed as the 2017 story of how “the most Scottish-looking person, with the most Scottish last name, was denied leave to enter in Scotland” when they were just 22 years old, the set briefly touched on themes of displacement, anxiety, and gender identity.

Robertson enjoyed a packed audience in the basement of the Caxton Street Brewing Co. and earned laughs throughout the night. While this reviewer might be just a bit too old to fully appreciate the recurring ‘Scooby Doo’ movie and Candy Crush jokes, the Backstreet Boy reference landed well and tied in nicely to the song list ahead of the show.

Robertson was perhaps most captivating in some of the more serious moments: sharing stories from their ‘Reasons I Am Sad’ journal, reflecting on formative moments in primary and high school, describing what it was like to see their mum once safely back in Australia after mentally blocking out the scarier aspects of the international fiasco.

The comedian might consider cutting back some of the gratuitous swearing and worry less about delivering the story exactly as scripted, as it was obvious when they stumbled or lost their place (once, Robertson stopped to verbally confirm that he was at the right point in the tale of deportation).

That said, the young audience appeared to genuinely enjoy the self-deprecating style and meandering musings. Plus, Robertson’s own laughter after delivering the punch lines was quite endearing.

Heralded as one of Melbourne’s “fastest rising stars,” it would be worth following along to see what Robertson creates next.

‘Leave to Enter’ played Sunday, 24 September 2023 at Good Chat Comedy Club. For more events, visit Nick Robertson’s Instagram and/or the Good Chat Comedy Club website.

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