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Robin And Partridge: Worlds Collide

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Steve Bennett

The audience for this performance of Robin & Partridge’s late-night show were so ridiculously up-for-it, you might suspect a rent-a-mob.

Almost all aged around 20, and almost all arts students, judging by the huge laugh the caption ‘why arts students don’t get jobs’ attracted, they were dancing in the aisles before the show had even started; taking part in aerobics exercises led by the duo and bouncing along to Depeche Mode.

Good job they were in, too, for this is a frequently boisterous show that requires an up-for-it audience. When they point to someone in the crowd and demand them be a rampant elk, they need them to stand proud and bellow ‘awooga!’ as tonight’s volunteer did, not look meek and awkward.

This is, indeed, something of an artsy, studenty show, too – owing more than a nod to the surreal work of the Mighty Boosh, and Vic and Bob before them. It’s set in a woodland, with cardboard props and a spirit guide character called Freaky Dave, who is realised mainly via the means of shadow puppetry. Music and beats are an important element of the slightly strange show, too, and you can easily imagine it being performed in some stylised glade at midnight at Latitude or other artsy music festival.

There are a few near-traditional characters here, such as the sales guru Jeremy Pilgrim Power Progress, but always given a nonsensical twist. Added to the mix video footage, poor-quality improv, poetry and dancing as Robin Clyfan and Charlie Partridge rouse their rabble with this postmodern pantomime.

The material can be very funny – though it is patchy – and the pair wear their influences so heavily that they can’t be as entirely original as they might hope to be. But this is a show that celebrates loose, rambunctious high-jinks with an energy few can match and as feckless nonsense goes, it’s pretty damn entertaining.

Review date: 9 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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