When you go to a Nish Kumar performing, you expect political commentary. But before Mash Report new show of the presenter Your power, your control came at an awkward time. Do comedy audiences want to hear about the pandemic after you’ve survived? Fortunately, Kumar’s on-site documentation is one of the best I’ve seen on this side of Covid. The strong, weighty news coverage – from the statue of Colston being thrown into the river to the many defeats of the Conservatives – is humorously glorified. “Buzzkill in group chat, big laugh in conference program,” Kumar tells us with a chuckle. “I hold a lot.”
Kumar’s more explicit political content links to the show. New accusations of Boris Johnson having another party come two hours before the comic hits theaters, and there’s a feeling that Kumar would have paid more attention to it if it hadn’t been completely disheartening. There are slower moments, when Kumar enumerates examples of political injustice, but it is never stable for long. On stage, he explodes with a relentless energy, and tends to emit random screams. Really, who can blame him?
But where? Your power, your control New breakthroughs are less on the news than Kumar as a relatable figure. The cancellation Mash Report and the BBC’s unwillingness to defend him is briefly described as “heartbreaking”, but the show fixes a fateful gig in 2019. For those who don’t remember, Kumar is made with bread for making jokes about Brexit at a charity cricket lunch the days before the election. For what it’s worth, he tells us, their goals are pretty shoddy anyway.
On the stage, the charity performance is divided into two parts – the event part and the aftermath part. Kumar sees it as the fulcrum in his life, opening up new levels of online abuse in porn. When he discusses death threats, Kumar deftly sets the line between entertaining an audience and showing just how emotional the abuse can be. We hear the shocking contents of a cryptic message, but Kumar also wonders what would happen if he was assassinated before comedian Ed Gamble’s wedding.
Kumar’s willingness to talk about his mental health is admirable, but he is adamant that he has no regrets about the actual incident. He makes interesting, somewhat surprising points about freedom of speech – defending idiots and criticizing his humorous friends who simply call them idiots. But if he criticizes the Tories to his main audience at Soho . Theater tonight – a crowd he said included Guardians subscribers and those who have recently canceled Guardians signed up because it’s no longer “sufficient left wing” – it would be hypocritical not to show up for a cricket club performance. And in the end, Nishi Kumar got a bad gig that made the front page. That must count for something.
‘Nish Kumar: Your Power, Your Control’ is touring the UK – for more information visit nishkumar.co.uk
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/comedy/reviews/nish-kumar-review-tour-your-power-control-b2000158.html Nish Kumar Review, Your Power, Your Control: Political Praises Delivered with a Great Energy