Nish Kumar: Ruminations on the Nature of Subjectivity

In an ideal world, I would use the word “meta” to describe this show. Unfortunately, as the ever pessimistic Kumar himself is keen to point out, we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a word where the word “meta” has become synonymous with “pretentious”, and this show is anything but. Nonetheless, I feel honour bound to use the word, since this is inescapably a comedy show about doing comedy.

Kumar flits smoothly between charmingly self-deprecating personal anecdote and astute social commentary and is just as at home discussing the pitfalls of free market capitalism as relating a holiday with his girlfriend.

But more than that, it is a comedy show about race, identity, love and disliking the Big Bang Theory. Kumar flits smoothly between charmingly self-deprecating personal anecdote and astute social commentary and is just as at home discussing the pitfalls of free market capitalism as relating a holiday with his girlfriend. One moment, he engages the audience with his sharp intellect, the next, he has them laughing in bemusement as they recognise his irrational emotions as their own.

These disparate themes come together under a clear overarching discussion of the ways in which we form and justify our opinions, an excellent concept which holds the show together and gives a sense of coherence to what could otherwise be aimless, but still hilarious, ramblings. Kumar’s message is important, erudite and well considered. Admittedly it is not particularly ground-breaking, but this is a stand up show not a Nobel address.

In a city that seems to suffer from a biblical scale plague of stand-up comedy, Kumar’s show is full of surprises which succeeds in making it stand out. His delivery is engaging and passionate. For laughs alone, this show is worth your time and money and if that isn’t enough for you, there are a few thought provoking moments chucked in for free.

Reviews by Charlotte Ivers

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Depending on your opinion, Nish Kumar is either ‘a comedian on the up’ (Times) or ‘a comedian I've never heard of’ (You). That's subjectivity in action. A stand-up comedy show for people who like stand-up comedy shows. As seen on The Alternative Comedy Experience and Live at the Comedy Store. As heard on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 4 and XFM. **** (Time Out). **** (Scotsman). **** (List). **** (Evening Standard). 'A highly polished, subtly innovative stand-up ... is a talent worth catching up with' (Guardian).