Phoebe Robinson @ Assembly George Square

Sorry, Phoebe Robinson – this is more of a work in progress

Review by Yasmin Hackett | 20 Aug 2019
  • Phoebe Robinson @ Assembly George Square

Phoebe Robinson has made a name for herself in the States as an author and podcaster (of 2 Dope Queens fame). In that time she has met some pretty interesting people, and one of those people is none other than the first black First Lady, Michelle Obama.

And it’s a good story: having to hold in a fart around Michelle Obama seems like the best nightmare imaginable, and Robinson spins the anecdote well. On the downside, much of the rest of the material doesn’t feel particularly fresh. There’s a great deal of focus on sex and relationships, but it never feels like she’s adding anything particularly new to a pretty overdone subject. Her incredulous reaction to a scene involving anal sex at the end of Kingsman is, though proportionate, nothing new.

Robinson repeatedly refers to herself as ‘trash’, presumably in indication of her not living up to the legacy of Harriet Tubman. But this thread is hung loosely together. It can often feel like a work in progress which, in the sense that this hour is coming from someone whose promise comes from her own fame overseas (and charges £14 for the privilege), is not ideal. In the sense that it is her debut show in the UK, it is forgivable, and she is good at styling through the gags that don’t land, resulting in an ultimately entertaining if slightly low energy show. It feels as though, if she were to work out the kinks, she has all the tools to bring a strong hour to the festival.

Phoebe Robinson: Sorry, Harriet TubmanAssembly George Square (Studio 3), until 25 Aug, 6.45pm, £14-16