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,
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.