‘Who is Nish Kumar?’ was the title of, you guessed it, Nish Kumar’s debut solo show last year. He confidently answered the question with a delightful hour of stand-up. But just in case you’re still confused, he’s named this year’s show ‘Nish Kumar is a Comedian’.
You see, earlier this year, Kumar had his identity stolen. Not by credit card fraudsters or Melissa McCarthy, but by an anonymous group who used his promo picture as the face of an internet meme called ‘The Confused Muslim’. Kumar isn’t Muslim (he has an ‘ethnically ambiguous’ face), but that wasn’t the problem. He was definitely offended, but wasn’t quite sure why.
And so sparks a smart, gag-heavy show questioning identity, anonymity and what causes offense. Kumar’s really upped a gear this year – he’s still ‘a nice guy trying his best’, but the 27-year-old comic’s grown more passionate and thoughtful, and he has more to say.
The show’s essentially a collection of first-hand stories, and it’s wittily-written, with plenty of cracking punchlines woven into the tales. And although some topics feel a little familiar – British binge-drinking, disappointing his parents etc – he tackles them all with a great deal of skill.
Slick, sharp and with oodles of charm, Nish Kumar is a comedian, and a bloody good one at that.
See 'Nish Kumar – Nish Kumar is a Comedian' at the Edinburgh Fringe
See Nish Kumar in London
The Phoenix Fringe – now in its third year –is back with another mightily impressive line-up. Usually this festival is a London alternative to the Edinburgh Fringe, but as the Scottish fest starts quite late this year the Phoenix is hosting lots of Edinburgh previews from the likes of Hal Cruttenden, Nish Kumar, Andrew Maxwell and Aisling Bea. Plus there are work-in-progress shows from Ardal O'Hanlon, Nick Helm, Richard Herring, Shappi Khorsandi and loads more. Every show is £10 (or £8 in advance), or a day ticket gives you access to three shows is £20. Check 'dates and times' for the full schedule.Read more