The opening scene of Robin Ince’s new show is an image of an MRI scan of his brain. He points out that from a medical perspective, apart from a large occipital lobe, his brain is absolutely average. This I cannot agree with. This brain is the seat of a mind that is far from ordinary. The pace and scope of his shows is breathtaking, with such volume, passion and enthusiasm that he is now sporting a very hoarse and husky delivery. Robin Ince is quite, quite brilliant. There is nothing mediocre or middle of the road about Robin Ince’s shows. He ranges from vein-popping rage to ecstatic wonderment in the blink of an eye. You had better keep up and not miss a second as he will barely give you time to catch your breath between laughs before he is on the next thing. One moment he is thoughtfully reminding us that our inner monologue is a unique and beautiful part of being human, the next he’s discussing adverts for butter.
This particular show is based around the premise that the human brain is the most complex organism in the known universe, with incredible plasticity and potential; unique within the animal kingdom. Ince becomes genuinely enraged when he considers how many of us don’t use our brains and instead get comfy on the sofa of life. Fast, funny and inspirational, Ince exhorts us to use the fabulous potential of our brains, to retain the capacity for childlike enquiry we were all born with.
The blooming buzzing confusion of the show’s title relates to his fascination with perception, Reality Tunnels and the effects of chemicals on the brain. This includes the exaggerated ‘waggle dance’ of bees on cocaine. (Well, it is the fringe…) There are also dolphins on LSD and monkeys who attack their own image in a mirror. (He is quick to point out he is a vegetarian animal lover in case this gives you the wrong impression.)
This show is inspiring, life affirming and fabulously funny. He reveals how his EEG reacts to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and then very differently to the Lighthouse family, how he has a new job as Undersecretary to the Tooth Fairy and how much the electricity bill for your brain would be. And for goodness sake, if you see him, don’t admit to liking Gogglebox or he might rupture something.
Robin Ince’s Blooming Buzzing Confusion at The Stand Comedy Club until 12th August