Comedy Review: Comedy for the Curious // Robyn Perkins – Edinburgh Fringe 2020

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3 / 5 Stars

Robyn Perkins, a comedian with a background in science, is a perfect host for a show that blends education and comedy together. You could almost say it is educational, although most of the facts will go in one ear and out of the other. Comedy for the Curious might not stay with you once you move away from your computer, but in the moment you will have great fun watching Perkins and some special guests laugh and fumble their way through some scientifically tested comedy. 

Perkins is a qualified scientist and holder of an architecture degree – “so many degrees, so little income,” as she puts it. Her unique guide through two scientific topics – weed and personality – make for some easily enjoyable jokes. Based on a mixture of long form and one-liner jokes, Perkins’ giddy passion for her work injects the set with generous levels of glee. She obviously loves her science, even if some the audience occasionally seem a little lost. Not that it stops any of them laughing along whenever Perkins turns on the charm.

The first of Perkins’ guests, Jacob James Garcia, is a picture of  exuberance. His animated trek through some of his memories makes for great entertainment. Brought on to talk about weed, Garcia struggles to see the appeal even though he personally has no problem with it. A story about how, when high one time, he could hear his own organs is the highlight of his time on screen.

The next guest is Stephanie Laing, introducing herself with “I’m gonna talk about how crazy I am for a bit.” Her set is fantastic, her self-proclaimed awkwardness fuelling most of the humour in her stories of dating and communication. Laing’s stories are often endearing, realist and very, very funny. One of the show’s best moments is when Laing becomes the subject of a personality poll run by Perkins at the end of the stream, a great few moments of audience interaction that guarantee some final laughs.

Supremely memorable this is not, and occasionally confusing it is when Perkins’ adoration of science runs away with her. Yet there is still a lot of fun to be had in a show that lends itself to on-the-spot thinking and an intelligent sense of humour. There’s only one place to learn about the graphic sex life of plants, and it’s right here.

Words by James Hanton.


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