Doc Brown

Ben Smith is a unique breed of comedian, drawing on his by no means small talents as a rapper and lyricist to create something of genius in his stand-up. Though the man professes that the geek lies strong within him, Smith is as smooth and suave as could be, even turning a spilled cup of water and the subsequent arrival of a man with a mop into a part of the show, easily as hilarious as the scripted components. Very quickly our sides are aching; endless convulsions of laughter are hard to fight back.

A self-confessed failed rap star, Smith takes the genre's standard worst offences and mocks them gloriously. It's hugely satisfying as it feels like he is speaking out against the misuse of a skill he clearly loves.

Like his sister, novelist Zadie Smith, Doc Brown is talented with words and wordplay, which is evident in the densely packed show, drawing laughs from all levels of humour. One wonderful example of this diversity is his explaining European policy to his nether regions in order to calm down and continue chatting up ladies in clubs. Along the same lines are his digs at the horror of getting caught 'slipping', or not being gangster enough.

As a mixed-race Londoner, of Jamaican and Irish descent, Smith also has freedom to play with some delicate topics. As a clearly level-headed guy, racism is also a notably comfortable area to go into, especially in a rap which is again a mockery of haters who go to far. In fact, most of his criticisms and jokes are directed at ignorance and stupidity, which is incredibly refreshing to hear. Where many black comedians might feel compelled to say a certain something on race, Doc Brown makes it his own to great avail.

Discussing the plight of dogs since the 60s, a modern rapper's formula for success, the questionable friends his daughters have been making and the fascists of Topman, this is quite possibly the most articulate, intelligent source of laughs you will ever encounter in the medium of rap – mostly because the rest of the rappers out there don't like getting laughed at so much. A gentleman in high-tops and charming stage presence, you'd be a fool to miss Doc Brown this Fringe.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

The Blurb

Rapper turned comedian Doc Brown is back with his tongue in cheek take on hip-hop culture. A regular on the London comedy circuit and appearances on The Inbetweeners, Rev and Derek. Doc is a must-see act.

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