John Robins: Hot Shame (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

John Robins: Hot Shame

credit: Rachel King

Compelling stand-up hour from a maturing comedian

Two years ago, John Robins jointly won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for The Darkness of Robins, a painfully honest, bittersweet dissection of his break-up with Sara Pascoe. While Hot Shame deals with nothing quite so weighty as an angst-ridden romantic split, relationships still make up the lion's share of his material. Opening with a superb gag which instantly cements his candid credentials for the evening, Robins goes on to explain how he's a 'millennium man': woke, sensitive and emotionally engaged. And so, when an innocuous Instagram post of his holiday to New York is challenged for its lack of diversity he is naturally incensed by the accusation.

Throughout the show he periodically walks stage right to his 'Book of Shame' from which he recounts thoroughly embarrassing moments from his life; and these brief asides, adroitly punctuating the show, are unwaveringly hilarious. It takes a performer with supreme skill to turn the hunt for a dehumidifier on Amazon into a long-form barnstorming finale, but Robins has matured into one of the best stand-ups around. While Hot Shame has nothing profound to say, this is a compelling hour from a wonderful comedian.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug, 7.30pm, £14–£15 (£13–£14).

John Robins: Hot Shame

  • 4 stars

The comedian and 'London's saddest DJ' plumbs the hilarity to be found in even our bleakest moments.