Comedy review: John Robins – Skinny Love


THIS is stand-up as therapy – John Robins wrote Skinny Love after breaking up with the girl he thought was The One.

As it tries to wrench comedy from a still-raw relationship, though, the show can't help but feel like it's still in development. But at least Robins has moved on from what his friends dubbed his Sinead O'Connor phase, amusingly recounted here.

Though the emotional wounds remain abundantly evident, this likeable comic isn't one to wallow in self-pity, at least on stage, and this is a breezily funny hour that could nevertheless benefit from some severe tightening up in places.

Robins relates how he reluctantly returned to single-dom, ruining a date with his lax personal hygiene, and how his friends rallied round, recommending Khalil Gibran's philosophical poetry, The Prophet, and Neil Strauss's pick-up bible The Game.

Likening nightclub culture to nature documentaries, he simply reiterates some of the cynical moves he attributes to Strauss, while a sequence in which he jerks through his dubious dancefloor shapes makes this the weakest part of the show.

Yet while there's nothing too remarkable about just another stand-up talking about just another failed relationship, the affable Robins keeps it generally entertaining.

• Until 30 August. Today 5pm.