Kae Kurd: Kurd Your Enthusiasm

Kae Kurd has the self-possession and charisma of a seasoned performer, which is particularly impressive given that Kurd Your Enthusiasm is his debut Fringe show. In his stand-up routine, Kurd combines the personal and political – a fusion that characterises his very identity, as part of the largest ethnic group in the world without an independent country and as a Muslim. He doesn’t miss a trick, and uses in his material as an opportunity to both inform and entertain.

Kurd Your Enthusiasm delivers joke after rapid joke, to the point where your stomach will hurt from laughing

With an almost laddish swagger, Kurd delivers an hour of consistently sharp commentary on Britishness, multiculturalism, activism, social mobility, and extremism – to name a few, which his infectious energy and cheeky grin keep from ever becoming too sombre. Addressing the increase in open racism and hate crimes post-Brexit and Trump, Kurd’s strikes me as a necessary voice in comedy in current times; the events in Charlottesville particularly poignantly indicate the relevance and pertinence of comedy shows like his. It sometimes seems very hard to laugh about serious matters, but Kurd’s lampooning of ISIS had the audience in stitches. Kurd Your Enthusiasm served as a fantastic reminder to not give into terror and that laughter is the best medicine.

The acuity of Kurd’s material was matched by his quick-wittedness when improvising, for instance off the back of audience comments. In fact, the audience was singularly vocal in nature, facilitated by Kurd’s effortless talent for engaging and involving those he’s addressing. He demonstrates a talent, also, for impressions and accents, which add range to his show. His slick set covers a diverse range of issues, too, spanning his sense of embarrassment when he was growing up about being an ethnic minority, and now about being someone who asks for soya milk in coffee shops (due to his lactose intolerance).

Kae Kurd celebrates standing out from the mainstream in an industry mostly dominated by white men, and we should celebrate him as a brilliant new British comedian (except if he messes up, then he can be labelled Kurdish or Muslim instead, as he quips). Kurd Your Enthusiasm delivers joke after rapid joke, to the point where your stomach will hurt from laughing, as well as a fresh perspective on important topics. Already a recipient of a Best Newcomer nomination in the 2016 Chortle Awards, Kae Kurd’s comedy career looks set to really take off.

Reviews by Laura Pujos

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The Blurb

Kae Kurd came to the UK as a political refugee at just six months old, his parents fleeing Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. In his highly anticipated debut show, this multi award nominated rising star guides us through a lifetime of displacement. Smart, sharp and brilliantly astute, expect slick routines presented with confident, cutting edge flair. Chortle's Best Newcomer nominee and Pleasance Comedy Reserve 2016. Best Short nominee RTS Awards 2017. As seen on BBC Three, All 4 and Channel 5. As heard on BBC Radio 1Xtra.