Kwame Asante: Open Arms

An antidote to egotistical stand-up, Kwame Asante’s Open Arms is a charming hour of anecdotal and observational comedy.

An inventive and sincere storyteller, and you'll welcome him with open arms.

Asante balances his stand-up career with being a full-time Junior Doctor. Not only is this an incredible feat, it also provides Asante with refreshing inspiration for material. We are told about the ‘top most inappropriate things old patients have said to me’, his dilemmas with having to attend diversity and equality seminars, and how he maintains a relationship with his girlfriend despite his limited time.

One of the biggest laughs of the evening is in response to an ad lib, where a member of the audience briefly leaves and Asante says with sincerity, ‘are you alright, do you need a hand?’ Alongside Asante’s medical material, he discusses his experience growing up as a black man in Kent. He has a knack for telling anecdotes with a twist, and his many call-backs are executed without being contrived.

Asante doesn't yet have the confidence of a consummate performer, and sometimes doesn't quite have the delivery of a joke as well as the idea itself. A few phrases are repeated without merit, and I was disappointed by the ending, which seemed a jarring diversion from the style he had spent the rest of the hour building.

On the whole however, Asante’s unaffected, likeable, and quirky manner means we forgive much. He's an inventive and sincere storyteller, and you'll welcome him with open arms. 

Reviews by Lily Lindon

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The Blurb

'Between moving to a new city, starting a new career and gaining new responsibilities, award-winning comedian Kwame Asante has had to embrace a lot of changes over the past few years. He’s been doing his best to process it all, but could do with your help! His eagerly anticipated debut show sees him work through a collection of his best observations and anecdotes from his recent transitions. Listeners, nodders, smilers and laughers, all will be welcomed with open arms! ‘One to Watch’ (Time Out). ‘A natural, he is sure to go onto better things’ (Steve Bennett, Chortle).