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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Edinburgh 2011 arrow John Robins: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
John Robins: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
Published on Saturday, 06 August 2011

3 stars

Just The Tonic at the Caves (venue website)
4-16, 18-28 Aug, 7:00pm-8:00pm
Reviewed by Hannah Van Den Bergh

 Recommended for age 16+ only.

Whether showing his detest for Banksy as an opportunistic criminal, or how the ultimate power of a metaphor can ruin a simple orange, it is quite apparent that the inner child that inhabits John Robins is hopping from foot to foot trying to escape. Lunging energetically, mentally preparing himself for the opportunity to reproach a hippy, Robins displays a great deal of promise.

He is a joy to watch on stage. Beaming from ear to ear, and with a self-confessed camp air to him, you can see he loves what he’s doing - relaying jokes with elation and inter-splicing his material with audience chat.  His mannerisms are distinctive and most of his work gets the crowd laughing.  He comes equipped with a great back-catalogue of ideas, and the potential is there for proper belly-ache laughs.

But I can’t help but feel his performance is still a little unfinished.   It seems he leaves pieces prematurely, when he could be wringing them dry of their comic potential.  Links between gags are sometimes effective, but can also come across as fairly unfocused; at times, he goes so off-topic it can become confusing.  That said, one tangential joke about Robins embarking on a university poetry course and the anxiety that ensues is positively scintillating.

Ultimately, Robins’ performance is nice. It doesn’t greatly offend; more holds your hand and skips you through a story with a few funny moments and a fable ending for dreamers, patting you on the head and sending you on your way with a note to avoid men who secretly stop shaving.

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