John Robins: This Tornado Loves You
A mixed and easy hour lifted by flashes of brilliance
This article is from 2014.
One of John Robins' best routines is an astutely crafted parody of 'millionaire underdog' Stewart Lee. It's a brilliantly structured skit that skilfully punctures Lee's impudence, and it leaves the audience in pieces. It's just a shame that the rest of the hour can't quite maintain that high standard.
Robins starts his 'show about love' with some wonderful observations on how new romantic relationships usurp long-standing friendships. He later expands his remit with some sterling material about his girlfriend, her insecurities and his inability to understand them. It's all shot through faux-blokeish eyes but he periodically brings out his inner feminist, using a carefully established ruse to counterbalance some of the more masculine ruminations. It sounds crass but it works. He also explains his disappointment with visiting New Zealand, neatly expounding how even the most beautiful countries have their fair share of social problems.
After a superb opening half, Robins' material slightly falters. His fastidious wordplay slackens in favour of some awful puns and a number of his musings don't quite gel. But then, with a second wind, he embarks on a splendid rage-filled diatribe about wedding etiquette. A cheery raconteur, it's an easy hour in Robins' company and his show displays flashes of brilliance.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 Aug, 9.45pm, £9-£12 (£8-£10.50).