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Facilitators of Mirth

John Robertson's 'The Dark Room'


John Robertson's 'The Dark Room'

Awards & competitions

John Robertson's 'The Dark Room'

Appearances & credits

John Robertson's 'The Dark Room'


Mr John Robertson has been a stand-up comic since 2003. His high-energy improv and insult comedy crowd work mean he arrives, raises hell, and leaves. He has a devoted cult following thanks to his online Twitch shows, touring show The Dark Room and the fact people love being playfully insulted by a man who clearly has more problems than they do.

In 2019, his first novel The Little Town Of Marrowville was published by Penguin and in 2020, he won a Chortle Award as a Legend Of Lockdown for his online shows and charity fundraising.

He has performed comedy marathon shows for 48 hours straight (2020) and 50 hours (2021), raising money for the NHS, Mind and Shelter. Both shows were featured on Twitch’s global front page, bringing in audiences of over 250,000 people.

John has written eight festival shows, including Dragon Punch (Winner – Best Show, Wild West Comedy Festival 2011), Let’s Redecorate! (★★★★ “a splendid comedy beast” - The Scotsman 2015), Looking Sharp! (Nominated – Best Show, Fringeworld 2018) and interactive gameshow The Dark Room, which has toured successfully since 2012, selling out the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, with residencies at Soho Theatre, The Bill Murray and The Frog & Bucket Manchester. The Dark Room has been turned into an actual video game and is currently in TV development.

His shows have touched on mental health, loss, love, anime, cabaret, video games, sadomasochism and are often just an elaborate excuse for him to remove his shirt.

His Corporate Clients include: Google, Octopus Energy, Dambuster Studios, Bossa Games, EB Games Australia, Game, and Bethesda Studios.


Welcome to the world’s only live-action, text-based adventure game. It’s strange, insane and addictive. It’s a comedy night, a gameshow and a pantomime all in one.

How do you play? The audience is trapped in a retro video game with a sadistic end-of-level boss. Choose your options, survive the abuse simulator that is the improv comedy overlord John Robertson, and escape to win £1000 – or, be brutally murdered by the rest of the crowd!

– The Guardian


Now, will you:

A) Find the Light Switch B) Go North? C) Abandon Hope?

This high-octane show is the brainchild of comedian & cult leader John Robertson. Filled with stand-up, appalling prizes and more audience chanting than you’d get at a protest – it’s a gut-busting rock n’ roll experience for everyone who buys a ticket.

"Will have you crying with laughter”
– Broadway Baby


4,000,000 YouTube hits and counting… a spin-off videogame… 250,000 audience members streaming online via Twitch… 3,000 screaming people in one theatre… over 400 live performances around the world

"Watching people tackle the challenge and fail is one of the funniest sights around. Don’t miss it”
– The Daily Telegraph


The world’s only live-action videogame.Interactive and insane, this is impro comedy + retro gaming fused into a deranged rock n’ roll game show.

In August 2012, The Dark Room debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival.
Combining a screen, $5 of electronics, an innovative multimedia rig and John Robertson’s manic flair for improvisation and abuse, it was THE cult hit of the Fringe, creating an exhilarating, incredible world of fun, fear, nostalgia and terrible prizes.

"One of the most innovative and original comedy shows around”
– Manchester Evening News


This is a live comedy the whole audience doesn’t just watch… it plays!

Since 2012, the show has grown into a touring production that’s been staged in basements, 3,000 seat theatres, corporate events, gaming and sci-fi expos, Fringe and Comedy festivals and toured the UK, Europe, Australia and South-East Asia.

In 2014, it was streamed on Twitch for a one-off special, garnering 250,000 players over a four-hour marathon show. During the global pandemic of 2020, John performed the show on twitch numerous times a week - bringing entertainment to the shows cult group of fans.

"A real blast from the past with one crooked eye on the future, this is a truly unique show you’ll be gutted to miss out on”
– Manchester Wire


The Dark Room has appeared in front of audiences ranging from high hundreds to acceptable thousands at Insomnia Gaming Festival, Runefest, UK Games Expo, Sci-Fi Weekender, EB Games Expo Australia, Wai-Con, MCM Comic-Con, Play Expo Manchester, Birmingham Mac, Bristol’s Colston Hall, Underbelly Festival London, Magners International Comedy Festival, and since 2010, has had eight consecutive runs at the Edinburgh Fringe.

There’s also a child-friendly version, which took home Best Kid’s Show at Leicester Comedy Festival 2018!

John has performed The Dark Room to crowds of thousands at comedy and gaming festivals around the world. Most recently: Insomnia Gaming Festival, London Film & ComicCon, Sci-Fi Weekender, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeWorld Perth, Leeds International Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest AND a monthly residency in London at the prestigious Soho Theatre.

"What a marvelous, maddening concept this is from the twisted mind of John Robertson… if Kafka were to write a comedy show, this would be it”
– Chortle


Supporters of The Dark Room include Perrier-winning comedian Brendon Burns, games industry legend Ian Livingstone, Mark Watson & creator of Invader Zim, Jhonen Vasquez.

No two shows are the same. No other show is the same. This is THE DARK ROOM!


  • Winner - Chortle Legend of Lockdown, 2021
  • Winner - Best Kid’s Show, Leicester Comedy Festival, 2019 (for The Dark Room For Kids)
  • Nominee - Best Comedy, Perth Fringeworld, 2018
  • Nominee - Best Local Comedy, Perth Fringeworld, 2017
  • Winner - Editor’s Choice, ThreeWeek’s, Edinburgh Fringe, 2016
  • Winner - Argus Angel, Brighton Fringe, 2014
  • Time Out Top 100, Edinburgh Fringe Shows, 2014
  • Winner - Director’s Choice, Bedford Fringe, 2014
  • The List’s Top 5 Scary Shows, Edinburgh Fringe, 2013
  • Winner - Best of the Fest, Wild West Comedy Festival, 2011

Appearances & credits


Insomnia Gaming Festival


UK Games Expo

Sci-Fi Weekender

EB Games Expo Australia


MCM Comic-Con

Play Expo Manchester

Birmingham Mac

Bristol’s Colston Hall

Underbelly Festival London

Magners International Comedy Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Leicester Comedy Festival 2018

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