Nish Kumar performing at the Pleasance Courtyard

Nish Kumar review

Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Unless You Shout The Words

Having sat through more stand-up shows this Fringe than I’ve eaten meals this month, the one thing I don’t need more of is Brexit jokes. Everyone has them, most of them are trite and hack beyond belief.  That being said, done well there is nothing more satisfying.

Nish Kumar does Brexit jokes better than anybody. He’s just so wonderfully informed, and manages to look intelligently at both side instead of the general knee-jerk reaction. It helps that he’s funny too. In this fantastic hour, every punchline lands and every callback resonates. Kumar manages to talk with as much ease about the Spice Girls as he does in-depth economics and obscure historical events. It appeals to all and somehow makes it feel like you’re learning too.

Kumar feels very reminiscent of John Oliver, his cadences are similar and they share the ability to break down heavy, serious subjects with a potent mix of anger and whimsy. When Kumar talks engaging about a racist and invoking the queen, you could imagine him sat behind a desk with a little infographic beside him.

The only issue is the slight lack of narrative. At times it jumps about a bit without any real segway, moving quickly from concerts to more political material. It is definitely as pleasing as it is funny, but a couple more weeks work on the Brexit stuff could make this show a truly great one, rather than simply very good. 

This is only a little issue however, and in all when Kumar points out that he’s a ‘critically acclaimed comedian’, the show’s title hits the nail on the head.

Image credit: Idil Sukan HQ

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Scott Redmond

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