Jess Robinson: The Jess Robinson Experience

By Ron Bingham

Jess Robinson’s forte is musical impressions of famous divas, but she is also a dab hand at other vocal impressions and a very funny conversational comic to boot.

Featuring an on-stage band, this year’s show looks back at Jess’ life – her origin and influences. The songs are reworkings of well known tunes with adapted lyrics, that tell the stories of her musical and film heroes, growing up in a small town (Aldbury) in Hertfordshire (or, as she described it, Brexit central), and her grandmother, who was a remarkable woman (and who managed to escape from Germany in 1939). There is even a very special tribute to Kate Bush with a “special guest dancer”.

The venue is a wooden “tent” featuring wood pillars with mirror panelling a central seating area and booths around the edges. I recommend trying to sit somewhere in the middle as the pillars block the view of some of the action on the sides. Jess wore a bright costume with sparkly bits (and some impressive sparkly boots). The audience was raucous in their applause and even joined in on most of the singalong bits. The big finale song featured Jess singing along with a number of other Jess Robinsons on the big screen, which was the best way to break from the poignant version of Climb Every Mountain that Jess sang for her grandmother. This was a very entertaining show and it was hard to believe how much they crammed into one hour. If you’re a fan of musical comedy songs, then this is definitely the show to see.

The Jess Robinson Experience is on at Assembly Rooms until August 24