Paul Sinha: Postcards From the Z List

British Asian, Paul Sinha, makes a very welcome return to the Stand Comedy Club during the Fringe after a four-year absence. It’s been an eventful time for Sinha. He’s become an uncle, he’s found himself a boyfriend and he’s grown into the role of minor celebrity – thanks to his daily appearances on ITV’s teatime quiz, The Chase. At first it’s a bit of a worry that it’s all been going a bit too well for Sinha – a comedian’s happiness is not an obvious fertile ground for comedy.

Sinha is still punching upwards and he’s still bloody hilarious.

Sinha certainly doesn’t fit the TV light-entertainment gay stereotype. He’s not especially camp, he’s never been on Strictly or Big Brother, he loves sport and he’s not afraid to appear intelligent. It has to be a positive sign of the times that this audience, made up largely of Chase fans, laughed along when Sinha started banging on about being gay. However, this isn’t a show about Sinha’s homosexuality.

We’re here to talk about celebrity culture and refreshingly, Sinha isn’t afraid to name names. Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Ulrika Jonsson, and Phil Tufnell are amongst the Z-listers who meet the sharp end of Sinha’s tongue. David Starkey (“my nemesis”) gets a well-deserved kick up the backside for managing to be both openly gay and against equal marriage.

There are some well-judged moments of slapstick. Sinha’s attendance at the Houses of Parliament to mark the anniversary of Magna Carta put the comedian at the centre of a knockabout Whitehall farce. His altercation with some leery youths on the bus ride home ensures that we still view the comedian as one of us.

Despite being a success, despite being happy, Sinha succeeds in making himself the butt of most of the jokes. This is a faultless hour of comedy. Sinha is still punching upwards and he’s still bloody hilarious.

Broadway Baby Radio interview with Paul Sinha

Reviews by Martin Walker

Pleasance Dome

Sarah Callaghan: 24

★★★
Assembly George Square Theatre

The Piff the Magic Dragon Show

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Radio Active

★★
Assembly Roxy

Andrew Lawrence: The Hate Speech Tour

★★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Patrick Kielty: Help

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Critically acclaimed Edinburgh favourite Paul Sinha returns after a self-imposed exile during which real life took over. Looking back, life as a travelling single gaysian delivering lefty liberal jokes was quite straightforward. Now he has to juggle the responsibilities of being an uncle, being in an actual relationship for the first time in twenty years, and being that bloke, from that quiz, in that poorly fitting white suit. It’s not easy. ‘One of the most technically gifted comics on the British circuit’ (Scotsman). ‘Hilariously funny, passionate and articulate’ (Chortle.co.uk). ‘Honest, heartfelt, uplifting' (List).