top of page

Robin Ince - Weapons of Empathy

Gilded Balloon at The Museum


Before this month’s Fringe madness began Robin Ince gave us a wonderful interview about in which he mentioned how each day this show will start slightly differently.  It’s easy to see why, he is surrounded by piles of books on stage and on a table and wants to tell us about the ones he has bought most recently, in fact he wants to tell us about them all.

This is a show about how books can affect and change our lives, whether we’re a primary school pupil with stories to tell or a stranger on a train that wants to talk about a shared love of books after spotting your badge. This is also about the people who read the books, make notes in the books and a sense of belonging through books.

It’s a little hectic in places, there is, we are assured, a structure to the show but Ince is so keen to share his stories of every single book on the stage and on the floor that he is racing against time to get his show in before time is up; and he has to be off as “The Shakespeare Youth Group need to be in their wigs by five past two”! This isn’t a problem other than it will leave you wishing the show was 30 minutes longer, as such is the enthusiasm coming from the stage that you could happily sit here for hours listening to him talk.

We attended the show with our teenage children, who Ince apologised to at the end of the show after “having to listen to an old man waffling on”.  No need to apologise, they loved the show too.  Travelling home from the Fringe on the train (our stay this year was all too short) we were reminded of a particular line from the show as we stopped at Darlington station.  On pointing out where we were to the kids, as they remembered the show and the line in question a smile came across their faces as their imagination got to work (they love books).

If you love books take your imagination and spend an hour with Robin Ince this month, you won’t regret it.

Robin Ince: Weapons of Empathy is on at

Gilded Balloon at the Museum until August 27th

Tickets available here

Robin Ince - Weapons of Empathy
bottom of page