Poetic vindication by Madelaine Empson
Leave To Enter: [noun]
1. Permission for entry to the United Kingdom granted by British immigration officers.
2. Something Nick Robertson was denied.
In 2017, Melbourne comedian Nick Robertson was deported from Scotland. In 2024, he’s ready to talk about it. In his new comedy hour, the “exquisite storyteller” (The Age) spares no detail recounting the time the most Scottish-looking person, with the most Scottish-ish last name, was denied leave to enter in Scotland.
Nick has packed hard laughs and a soft touch into the Leave to Enter suitcase, which he’s been lugging around the Australian Fringe Festival circuit to great acclaim. Now, he makes his New Zealand debut this Fringe Festival, performing from the 7th to the 9th of March at two/fifty-seven on Willis Street. Ironically – or the opposite of ironically depending on how you look at it – he’s about to cross a border to do a show about unsuccessfully crossing a border.
“Doing this show and telling this story has already been so much fun, but heading overseas to do it feels like some sort of poetic vindication”, Nick tells me via email. “(But also if the UK Home Office has tapped my emails and is reading this right now I love you and forgive you xx).”
As he’s typing back to me, Nick suddenly realises he needs to double check whether a visa is required to enter New Zealand and promptly does so.
“I don’t. But hey, I suppose if I was turned around at the NZ border – at least I’ll have a sequel to this show.”
“Haha”, he laughs, I assume nervously.