ROBIN INCE: PRAGMATIC INSANITY
The title of Robin Ince’s latest show might well function as a description of everything he does. This time he’s looking at breaking down the false distinction between science and art – which obviously, you knew it would, has to involve some more of his trademark achingly funny piss-takes of his favourite Brians: Cox and Blessed.
Otherwise, his brain moving faster than his mouth can cope with, we move through examinations of the attractions of TV for the middle-aged, ie 24 Hours In A&E; celebrity canal boat shows; the works of Edward Hopper and Robert Rauschenberg; the First Law of Thermodynamics; and much, much more – all put over with breathless intensity as he runs off at innumerable tangents. This is very human, very humane comedy. There’s no malice, no humiliating of audience members. Just an unpatronising and unfailingly witty passion for people, for knowledge, and above all for kindness – and one of the kindest things to do for anyone is to help them laugh, isn’t it? And the laughter just explodes. Ince is a unique comic talent; really should be in the category of National Treasure by now, and to get to see him parade his inimitable stuff in such an intimate venue as the Rondo feels like a real privilege.
John Christopher Wood