I must immediately declare that I have always liked Robin and Partridge. Whenever I see their names on the bill for a London comedy night I get excited and with good reason. Whatever the mood of the room, however low the energy may have sunk, when they come on the audience wakes up and remembers that we are all there to laugh. Few performers can match Robin and Partridge’s pace and drive; they never rush, they simply steam onwards like a locomotive of humour, constantly in motion even when standing still (which rarely happens). Their material is polished to a mirror shine, and it is rare that any cracks appear. The undoubted kings of simultaneous speech, it seems at times that they are one comedian, with two mouths and four tireless, piston-like legs.
The charisma of the two performers more than makes up for the shakiness of the tech and the sterility of the venue
In their new hour, apparently sponsored in less than subtle fashion by Hull City council, they show us all the things they fear they may turn into, treat us to the ethical poetry of Justice Radio, and of course, count down to Robin’s demise. Death visits Robin four times in fact, as they get to know one another. Robin’s Dance with Death, and the awkward morning after, are a particular highlight. With a little folk-singing and some megalomania, their distinctive brand of comic invention is displayed in all its glory.
I will admit, there is something a touch disappointing about the energy of their current show, which does not seem quite to reflect their usual relentless pace. Small technical problems and time spent off-stage for costume changes cause things to slow a little, and there is the odd awkward moment. None of this detracts, however, from the enjoyment of the material itself which remains brilliant, and the charisma of the two performers more than makes up for the shakiness of the tech and the sterility of the venue. In fact, the real problem with the transitions is that you wish they didn’t have to leave the stage at all. It sometimes feels as if these two were born onstage together, with the sole biological imperative of making people laugh. Birds fly, fish swim, and Robin and Partridge do comedy. They’re a little force of Nature well worth going to see. So go.