John Robins: Speakeasy (3 stars)

This article is from 2015.

John Robins: Speakeasy

A decent hour with fatal lapses in logic and credibility

There’s a problem with credibility evident from the kick-off in John Robins’ otherwise likeable new hour. When his girlfriend heads off to Australia for a working month, the cheeky lad is primed to have the time of his life. Except the ‘legends’ among his contacts have got lives of their own to be getting on with and dropping things to accommodate Robins’ booze-fuelled intentions just isn’t practical.

Of course, if you and I were in Robins’ shoes, chances are we’d be fully aware that our closest friends’ married and parental state might mean they would need a little bit of notice to get social arrangements in place (and let’s face it, no one just pops off to Oz on a whim). But for Robins’ conceit to work, this collective knock-back needs to be a crushing blow completely out of the blue which leads him to a self-inflicted frenzy of excess, abuse and his internet tracks not being covered.

Robins’ heart is essentially in the right place though, and his decision not to fully destroy an audience participant who has strung him along with his own little white lie shows an admirable restraint that many other stand-ups wouldn’t have displayed. Speakeasy might tickle some of the right places but it won’t especially tax your mind and the overall effect is of a decent club set drawn out to fill a Fringe hour.

Assembly George Square Studios, 623 3030, until 30 Aug, 8pm, £10–£12 (£8.50–£10.50).

John Robins: Speakeasy

Storytelling, improvisations and intelligent wordplay.


1. Sacha9430 Aug 2015, 12:14am Report

I am actually quite surprised at this review as robins' show has been one of the best shows I have seen this festival (and I have seen 12 other comedians this year). Truly happy to have gone to see him this year after having wanted to see him since 2007. Great show.

2. Welsh lemming1 Sep 2015, 8:14am Report

I couldn't disagree more with this review. To say it's not credible and give it a substandard review as a result is very unfair. Its just a plot to get the show started, it doesn't need to be true to be good anyway!

Robins's show was the best I saw at the festival, in fact I'd already seen previews and liked it so much I saw it again! Long live the robins!

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