Robin & Partridge are the latest in a long line in cheeky chappy comedy duos stretching back to Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy and, er, Cannon and Ball. They have appeared with Jarvis Cocker on Radio 6 and become resident artists at the Tate Britain and we caught up with them upstairs at the Hen and Chickens.
There’s no observational malarkey shtick here – thankfully, Robin and Partridge (Charlie Partridge and Robin Clyfan) have invented their own bizarre world with a crew of madcap characters and more off-the-wall banter than Gaddafi and Sheen combined.
One early example is Jeremy, an aspiring life guru much in the vein of Perrier Award winner Chris John Jackson. Having found his birth name of Neil “too subservient”, he now goes by the moniker Jeremy Pilgrim Power Progress and proudly boasts how he singlehandedly broke the breakfast hegemony of cereal and pilchards before he is interrupted by his spirit guide, Freaky Dave from the Canadian plains of Manitoba. Meanwhile, Jeremy’s latest client, Ron the Café owner, is trying to save his business with daft ideas including introducing “chip and pin” – chips stuck to the side of paper cup with pins. And that’s just the first ten minutes. Later on, we meet more loveably absurd creations like Political Panda, the Sexy Police and the experimental Irish actors.
It’s fair to say that, technical hitches aside, there isn’t a dull moment. Part of the show’s appeal lies in the props which are endearingly cheap and mucho cheerful and the hilariously bad accents. There’s plenty of audience participation, audio-visual material, shadowplay, and sound effects to liven up matter but what shines through most of all is the genuine chemistry between the two performers. Their madcap adventures have something of Dudley Moore and Peter Cook about them which, in our books at least, is definitely No Bad Thing.
Robin and Partridge can be seen tomorrow night at the Magnolia where they will be the opening act. Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8:30 and tickets are £8 in advance and can be bought here. If you miss them there, they'll be hosting a new comedy night at the Old Vic Tunnels. If you can't wait until tomorrow and want some Robin and Partridge action now, you can get a taster of the goings-on at Ron's Cafe here.