Matthew Robins is a multidisciplinary artist from the West Country. Comprising music, animation, sculpture, puppetry, and drawing, Matthew's work has been performed and exhibited at many diverse institutions including Tate Modern and Tate Britain, The Science Museum, the V&A, the Natural History Museum, the Barbican, and the National Theatre. As a filmmaker Matthew has collaborated with artists including Slade, Cat Stevens, Tori Amos, Passenger, Phil Collins, Brian Irvine and John McIlduff, and Led Bib.
Matthew sporadically tours a live show performing home-made folklore with his band - songs and stories about monsters, death, love, death, and the sea . . . Flyboy, Mothboy, Walter Knitty, Evaporina, and the Wicker Cat . . . shadow puppets, animations, made-up games, and competitive audience craft sessions.
selected press interviews with Matthew Robins:
The Guardian, 2010
Here are some things people have said about Matthew's work:
Matthew Robins's charming, sometimes heartbreaking little stories are delivered as adult shadow-puppet operas, comprising homemade cardboard figures and sets, and accompanied by a superb eight-piece band.
They create a complete world, one that's full of loss and unrequited love, but with a surreal and occasionally snappy humour . . .
The whole thing feels like watching a silent movie in which every aspect has been created by a wayward child genius.
It’s easy to see why audiences and theatremakers alike are beguiled by this kooky West Country artist, whose brand of low-fi storytelling taps into our new-found affection for the homemade and wholesome.
Robins’ homespun tales mix the everyday with the surreal and are delivered in a chatty, cosy style, accompanied by a hodgepodge seven-piece band and illustrated with nothing more than an overhead projector and pieces of cardboard
This minutely crafted tribute to nostalgia, disappointment and the power of the imagination will appeal to your inner Peter Pan
The Cornish puppeteer and musician Matthew Robins appears to have little trouble exposing his inner child. The unabashed yet self-deprecating openness of his personality is a big part of what makes this rambling, overextended but agreeably cosy showcase of his work so endearing.
Robins’s music is in the indie-folk vein. Peppered with pop inflections, the tunes slip easily between tempos that vary from klezmer-like jauntiness to a lilting waltz. The tales they convey are odd slivers of surreal whimsy, most of which feature the titular Flyboy.
What drives his miniaturist universe is the romance of friendship and, as a corollary, an underlying longing to belong. It’s a place of boyhood crushes, loneliness and gentle obsessions that contain an implied tolerance for taking people as they are.
It brings the authors madness and genius to the fore – coupled with an on stage orchestra, in which talented Matthew Robins himself also champions the piano and vocals . . . a must see for the heartier kid who can live without the “happily ever-after” finale, and also inevitably, a play that the kid in every adult shall relish!
Even in the darkest moments there is a lightness that elicits sympathetic “awwws” from the audience. Robins is funny and entertaining enough to make the absurdity enjoyable, the tangents less jarring.
The Financial Times
here are some reviews for other shows I've worked on:
Beauty and the Beast, National Theatre, 2010
Matthew Robins skilfully advances the narrative through a series of silhouettes that have something of the deft wit of Picasso sketches.
Matthew Robins's incomparably eldritch shadow puppets: snipped with gothic delicacy from black paper, their crooked fingers reach directly into your imagination.
Lullaby, Barbican, 2011
music that has the wild and rhythmic insistence of a heartbeat