REVIEW: Nish Kumar at The Lowry, Salford

ON SUNDAY evening (2nd), critically acclaimed comedian Nish Kumar performed his show, ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Unless You Shout the Words Real Loud.”

Standing as his own warm up act, the Newsjack host and Mock the Week star began by saying, “You’ve paid for Kumar, so you’re getting one hundred per cent Kumar,” to the delight of the ticket holders. He immediately built up a rapport with the audience, after announcing his surprise at seeing so many full seats, especially after a certain show he was forced to pull due to, “Personal issues.”

The warm up act consisted of a list of rules and a table of contents for the show, before Kumar stopped the seriousness and revealed personal material about his solo gig going escapades. He went onto explain why those days were well behind him, depicting his emotional breakdown following the arrival of Prince to the stage and overexcited scream mid-way through a Bowie concert in a hilarious fashion.

The Croydon born comic moved onto a love affair with Britain, but a hatred of the Spice Girls. He discussed the irony at how the member referred to as, ‘Scary,’ is of Caribbean descent and stands next to Geri Halliwell dressed in a Union Jack. It was an amusing sketch that showed imagination and encouraged the crowd to envision the girl band in a new light.

The show, which was written shortly after the EU referendum, inevitably delved into politics and heavier subject matter. Keeping it lighthearted, Kumar spoke of his bowel moments following the Brexit result he wished did not happen. He casually recommended the Lowry toilets for anyone that may need to use them during the interval.

He said, “This is a spicy period for the British[…] a real jalfrezi of an epoch.”

However, there had been spicy times in the past, regardless of how his ‘friend’ thought otherwise. Kumar discussed colonialism, freely admitting that the oppression of his ancestor’s had in fact directly benefited him, and spoke of the guilt he feels for his ambivalent viewpoint.

Naturally, this led on to him expressing his hatred for rich, white men. He chose his terminology carefully, supposedly after a mishap in a previous performance, and seemed to have to keep reminding himself not to mix up Britain’s political class, with those that were negatively impacted by their tax shortfalls. The surprising fact that slave owners were bailed out by the British government to compensate their losses was mentioned, to further evidence his dislike.

It was an utter coincidence that a history teacher happened to be subject to an earlier question and answer exercise. He was able to cite the truths of the past, and confirm Kumar’s knowledge, between bouts of laughter.

Referencing his Indian heritage, he discussed the racial prejudice he faced in his early years, and interpreted the, “Some of my best friends are black,” cliche in his own way. The comic, who was born in Britain and has not lived anywhere else, mocked the stereotype of all Indian’s being doctors.

He poked fun at a past heckler that had told him to, “Go home…” to London. The crowd were obviously frustrated, and gasped as Kumar told the tale of when the man made the derogatory comment, only to applaud Kumar’s response and mic-drop worthy closing statement: “God save the Queen.”

The thought provoking routine was delivered confidently, and Nish Kumar’s awkward and excitable persona came through during his storytelling, making him even more likeable. It is hard to ignore a comedian who is so passionate about left wing politics, and clued up on current affairs as well as history. He ensured the show was funny, but also well educated, and that is why he is critically acclaimed.

 

RATING: 9/10

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