Sam See: Coming Out Loud

It's a fact of life that any standup on the Fringe who is neither white nor straight is likely required to spend at least part of their show addressing it. Sam See – working the room in a muggy Attic, immediately gaining some audience traction by offering to lightly spray them with cool water – is no exception. That said, he does appear to understand how being a gay stand-up from Singapore is a definite USP.

There’s real steel in his comedic bones.

Singapore, it turns out, doesn’t really "do" Human Rights that well, famously once described as "Disneyland with the Death Penalty". It's a country where a man, publicly declaring themselves on stage to be homosexual, genuinely risks arrest, imprisonment and large fines. Given how See likes to discuss his sexuality on stage (talk about what you know, right?), he has had to often officially "pretend" he's gay, even though he and everyone watching him knows it's the truth. This may help explain why, on seeing an audience member taking notes, he has to remember they’re a critic, not a government inspector.

Lee comes across as honest, clever and (at the risk of being condescending) endearing. (Sexy too, especially if you like bow-ties.) But that doesn't mean he’s a push-over; there’s real steel in his comedic bones. There has to be: while it may be entertaining to learn about the full reach of police powers in Singapore when it comes to stage magicians, See doesn't shy away from the darker consequences of such laws and social traditions. Yes, he may detour for comedic affect into now "traditional" subjects for an Fringe show (Grindr and dating, for example) but never gratuitously.

Performing comedy, Sam See tells us at one point, genuinely helped him come to terms with being gay, and he's happy that – in turn – being confidently "out" on stage, in LGBT-hostile countries, has helped some audience-members also feel a little bit better about themselves. He's not boasting; it explain what he does. Still, here's hoping growing audiences will discover that there's more to Sam See than "just" being the gay comedian from Singapore.

Reviews by Paul Fisher Cockburn


One of Two

Scottish Storytelling Centre

Moira in Lockdown

Laughing Horse @ Bar 50

Love and Sex on the Spectrum

Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Sam See (MTV, Comedy Central Asia) brings his show to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time! As a comic in a country where free speech and gay rights are non-existent, Sam See has a lot he wants to talk about. From Singaporean censorship to bad charity shows to performing in the Middle East, Sam is letting it all out. Bring money. 'Quick-witted' (Straits Times). 'Whip-smart, risqué' (Esquire Asia). 'Within seconds, he has the audience laughing, clapping and clinging onto his every word' (RiceMedia).

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets