Jess Robinson: No Filter
  • By Tom King
  • |
  • 8th Aug 2018
  • |
  • ★★★★

Though now a household name thanks to a semi-final place in last year’s Britain’s Got Talent, singing impressionist Jess Robinson is a familiar face of the Fringe. Since her 2014 show Mighty Voice, she’s been a regular fixture of the Pleasance but this year the act has a new home in the Spiegeltents of the Assembly Garden.

Classic style and glamour with a pop-culture twist

It’s a setting that well suits Robinson’s personality and act - a classic style and glamour with a pop-culture twist. Kicking off with a crowd-warming, original number of her own, Robinson is straight into the character voices. Old favourites like Britney Spears and Shirley Bassey are joined by new voices such as Holly Willoughby while characters like Nicki Minaj and even Natalie Cassidy get their own original feature songs.

However, polished as the impressions are, the really impressive parts of the show are the improvised sections when we get to see the craft behind the act. This year it’s 'Celebrity Beach Volleyball' - the vocalist picked by throwing a huge ball around the audience, the song picked at random - the only place you could realistically expect to hear Shirley Bassey singing Bat Out Of Hell. My personal highlight, however, was Six Degrees of Theresa May - a tour-de-force of vocal and satirical technique that’s extremely impressive to see unfolding before your eyes.

The show’s only real problem is, ironically, one of pitching. Robinson’s sharp wit and vocal talent are material enough to easily carry an hour but, perhaps in order to please the widest possible audience, they’re placed awkwardly alongside knob jokes and blue humour that it feels like even Robinson herself isn’t 100% sold on. Whilst not spoiling enjoyment of the show, these sections take up real estate that could be used to showcase more of the talent that makes the rest of the show as enjoyable as it is.

Nevertheless, Jess Robinson is a talented comedian wrapped in a magnetic stage presence, powered by one hell of a voice. Whatever your day at the Fringe has involved - theatre, stand-up, Ukranian puppet-mime - a trip to No Filter should guarantee you’ll end it with a smile.

Reviews by Tom King

Underbelly, Cowgate

Lucy Farrett: Lois

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

She Sells Sea Shells

★★★★
Summerhall

A Fortunate Man

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square / Underbelly, Cowgate

The Cat's Mother

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Nigel Slater’s Toast

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Multi award-winning Jess Robinson returns with more spot on celebrity impressions, musical comedy and stunning vocal gymnastics. Jess and her incredible live band take you on a dizzying journey through hilarious impressions – from Shakira to Streisand via Adele, Lady Gaga and even Kate Bush – serving up a feast of musical styles and genres. As seen on The Last Leg (Channel 4), Murder in Successville (BBC Three), Dead Ringers (BBC Two), Re-dub (Sky One), The Now Show (BBC Radio 4) and Britain’s Got Talent. 'Naturally funny. Pitch perfect' (Telegraph).

Most Popular See More

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets