Athena Kugblenu: Reality Check

Bubbling with energy and wit, Athena Kugblenu shares with us her opinions and musings on just about every topic you might need to navigate life as a British millennial. Her material gallops through Indian wedding preparations; dating with dreadlocks; gross misconduct at work and the price of sperm. You might think that you have heard enough sketches about styling black hair or your mother wanting grandchildren for her birthday. You are wrong. Until you have seen Kugblenu's hilariously astute take on it, you haven't heard it done well enough. It's authentic, observational comedy presented beautifully.

Reality Check develops beyond a domestic set into politically aware and socially relevant commentary that feels pleasingly original.

She is very funny and she knows it. Her timing, physical performance and topic transitions are all perfect. Kugblenu is hugely engaging on the mic and I genuinely found myself laughing at every single thing she said. This confidence in her delivery and material allows her a platform for some real bite underneath the jokes. Her instructions to laugh at her 'black' jokes because 'that is the point' but not too hard if you are white, captures the mood perfectly. Laugh, she is saying, but make sure you listen and learn as well. She is gentle with her audience but holds them to account.

Reality Check develops beyond a domestic set into politically aware and socially relevant commentary that feels pleasingly original. Casually throwing in references which span the last twenty years of popular culture alongside Greek epics and the use of pivot tables exposes the intelligent foundations of Kugblenu's writing. She has a few well aimed swipes for Iggy Azalea and Kim Kardashian to add a little sting towards the end and I suspect that there is a lot more acidity ready to be released if required.

Described as a work in progress the set sadly tails off to a weak finish, a fact that she is very aware of. It's a real shame and I am looking forward to catching her when it's been polished off. 

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The Blurb

BBC New Comedy Award finalist Athena Kugblenu has opinions. Observational and astute, this is her sharp, comedic take on how far we've come, but how much further we have to go. "A politically-aware stand-up and writer... conscious, confident and cool" (Stand Up Picture Show)

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