Yaseen Kader: Smile

This is a show about depression and dating, told by a smart young man trying to find happiness. Sometimes his set is hilarious. Sometimes it just feels a bit narcissistic. Of course, this is a storytelling comedian, and maybe long monologues about being in the throes of depression -- Yaseen telling his story -- are what one ought to expect. Regardless, be warned that this show is not of the laugh-your-pants-off variety. Parts of it are actually very serious. If you’re looking for mere silly gags, you might want to go elsewhere.

Yaseen’s material is simply more serious than a lot of the standup comedy at Fringe this summer

More often than not, Yaseen’s storytelling is compelling. The only problem, however, if one could even call it that, is that he proves to be a better storyteller than a comedian. Sometimes his show sometimes feels more like a one-man show, or a TED talk, or a spoken word open-mic - and not just regular standup comedy. Yaseen’s material is simply more serious than a lot of the standup comedy at Fringe this summer.

At times, up on stage, Yaseen feels like a young Woody Allen. I would go as far as to say that it seems like this is exactly what he’s going for. For example, at some points during his show, it felt like he was trying to perform a remake of Annie Hall -live, through stories of his own life. Sometimes this was really successful. Sometimes it really dragged. Again, Yaseen is a storytelling comedian. If this is not what you’re looking for, you should not go to this show.

Overall, Yaseen shows great promise, but Smile is a pretty average hour of comedy.

Reviews by chhewitt95

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The Blurb

In 2013 Yaseen was diagnosed with depression and left university. Then he wrote a comedy show about it. A stand-up show about depression, therapy, recovery and New York City. 'Thought-provoking, exquisitely written and doesn't scrimp on big laughs' ***** (Varsity). 'Crisp, well-timed... hilarious and touching by turns' **** (Cambridge Student).