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“It’s probably a bit TOO much self-reflection.” | Robyn Perkins on exploring her competitive nature in Front

Tell us about your show, Front.

I have always been a competitive person. I also have been someone who struggles with confidence in the things I cannot measure, but is very confident in the things I can. While I don’t want kids, I have twin nephews: one is confident and one is competitive. This led me to question: is confidence the antithesis of competition or do the two go hand in hand? Is the ultimate confidence not needing to compete OR is confidence the key to succeeding competitively? 

The show takes a look at some key moments in my life that explore these theories, explores the science of confidence and competition, and includes interviews with top athletes from around the world. 

What inspired you to write a show about competition and confidence?

As a former biologist, I usually do research to investigate things I cannot explain in my life (in the past this includes love, dating and decision making). I do not understand confidence and where it comes from. As such, I thought it would be perfect to write a show about it. 

The show explores your own attachment to winning. Does it involve a lot of self-reflection?

Oh yes. Typically my shows are very personal, just explained by science. It’s probably a bit TOO much self-reflection. However, hopefully relatable! 

Was it challenging to explore your own competitive side for the show?

I think it just made me realise not everyone is as competitive as me. I guess because I was raised this way, I took it for granted. I thought everyone’s father kept stats on 10 year old football games. As it turns out…some people play sports for fun? However, it is still very much a work in progress, so I am looking forward to seeing what else I realise! 

Did you learn anything about the science of competition and confidence that surprised you while writing the show?

I am still very much researching the show, as it is a work in progress. However, I will say that the athlete interviews I have had already have been very interesting. 

Has your approach to competition changed at all since writing the show?

I think I have now started looking at WHY I am competitive, and does winning THIS thing matter. This especially comes out in arguments. I’ve started asking myself: what am I trying to prove? I know the right answer and I know what I believe. 

What do you hope people take away from your show?

I guess to question where their self-doubt comes from, and to really realise that ‘you are enough’. 

Are there any other shows you’re looking forward to at the Funny Things festival?

Obviously there are some big big acts in the line-up. Romesh Ranganathan and Ed Gamble are amazing. I am also looking forward to Yuriko Kotani, Scott Bennett and Katie Pritchard

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to break into comedy?

I started with a course, but not everyone needs to. I would just suggest treating every gig as a learning opportunity. Even today, there isn’t a single gig I cannot learn from. 


Robyn is performing Front on 10th November.

Book your free ticket here.

Find out more about the Hull Comedy Festival here.

You can keep up with Robyn’s other work by checking out her website or following her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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