Kwame Asante: Basket Case

You are in for a treat with Kwame Asante's Basket Case. The soft-spoken comedian from Kent is immediately likeable and someone everyone will warm to. His variety of comedy provides vast amounts of laughs for the duration of his forty minute set.

Any controversy was so clearly tongue-in-cheek that it is impossible to see how anyone could be negatively affected by his show

Asante made use of some wonderful observations and these were brought to life with the use of visual aids. His imagination was clear to all: stimuli as simple as an advert is subsequently amplified into some ridiculous occurrences in his own mind. That is part of the inspiration behind its title, as Asante is a self-labelled basket case. Not all of the gags descend into ridiculousness, however, as some are kept well within the confines of reality and are simply amusing situations. Asante attempting to identify his ten year old cousin in a female public toilets was a simple, but oh-so funny premise.

Other material was inherently funny: the idea of a Sainsbury's basics range for the singles amongst us was both weird and wonderful in equal measures. Everything was delivered in Asante's understated, relaxed tones: he is a naturally gifted and confident performer.

There was some racial awareness, but he did well not to overdo it or base the whole show around it. A particular section of Jessica Alba did not exactly set off any fireworks but there were no coarse topics, whilst any controversy was so clearly tongue-in-cheek that it is impossible to see how anyone could be negatively affected by his show. All of this simply magnified his charisma.

Asante now needs to add other elements into his arsenal of comedy. Just a little audience interaction would have improved the show, whilst an overarching theme would have allowed it to become more than just the sum of its parts. But all in all, I was thoroughly impressed with his short performance in the afternoon set.

Reviews by Hamish Clayton

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The Blurb

Kwame (Chortle Award winner, 2012) is a Basket Case, but at least hear him out! Come on down for a taste of what this 'charismatic young stand-up' (Time Out) has to say for himself.