Brighton Fringe 2016
Forty minutes of a new stand-up show. “Laugh along as she explores her family, her country, her 1st boyfriend (at age 34) and what happens when you don’t think before you act.”
Comedian Robyn Perkins tells us of her quest for a boyfriend, from her roots in New Hampshire to eight years in the UK. It’s an enjoyable hour for we are in the hands of a fluent, confident performer who isn’t afraid to give as good as she gets from the select audience, very much in “yes and…” rather than combative mode. There’s plenty of witty and sharp observation of America, born and bred, as she was, in a state that supported both Bernie and Donald.
This is new material and it doesn’t all join up as well as I am sure it will as the run progresses but Perkins is never less than engaging, often hilarious, able to deliver killer one-liners but also to slow the pace, even pause and let the material sink in. We have her relationship with her family, her attempts at finding a partner, and plenty of little vignettes along the way.
This is a window into her life delivered with refreshing directness and plenty of feisty humor. It works because there is also struggle, yearning, plenty of lessons learned and the comedy is both light and philosophical, sharp and warm. It’s the variety that creates the interest and an accessible style that engages.
The venue is intimate and the performer didn’t even use a mic which says a lot for her confidence. Parts of it felt a bit scripted whilst others were more zesty in terms of her undoubted ability to riff with the audience. It’s part conversation with us and that is when it works best – a dialogue about a human soul with fellow souls in the audience. That said, some of the set piece stories are well worth sitting back to listen to and enjoy. There were plenty of laughs but also a few touching moments as well.
I enjoyed this show and it deserves a wider audience. Catch this comedian on tour and you’ll be glad you spent an hour in her company. I am happy to recommend this work-in-progress show for its heart, its clever material and a very accomplished performer.