Robin Ince, the self- styled ‘Renaissance Idiot’ returns to Edinburgh fringe with new one-off show “Reality Tunnels”. Ince is taking a break from his endless stand-up tours to spend more time with his family; hence it is billed in the Fringe programme, not as Stand-up, but as Spoken Word. Don’t let this fool you. Stand-up by any other name would be as funny, or in other words, this is a far funnier show than many stand-up shows on the Fringe.
The show is anything but idiotic, as he reminds us that “It’s very easy to get caught up in our own reality tunnel”. He encourages us to “remember to doubt, to explore, to check why we hold the opinions we do, to question how we form our picture of the world”. His mercurial mind is free to flit about the vast airy spaces of the Assembly Rooms’ Musical Hall as he ranges from topic to topic, words practically tripping over each other such is his enthusiasm to share his ideas. “I’ve just realized I haven’t got to the main slides yet” he admits after a good half hour of constant laughter.
He reminds us that there is no size envy in mathematical constants, points out the absurdity of the popular press, and impersonates a host of characters from Brian Blessed to ‘the homosexual machine’. The sheer quantity of quality material makes for a face-achingly funny show, with no let- up in the laughter.
Ince is endlessly interested in the world and the people in it. He maintains a curiosity about the world that is both childlike and wise. “The excitement of science doesn’t require full understanding” he explains for the non-scientists in the audience. “It’s the journey to the least wrong answer.” It is impossible not to be swept along in his enthusiasm, his joyful, playful observations of the world around us.

Picture credit Malcolm McCurrach @nwimagesuk