Comedy review: Nish Kumar – Nish Kumar is a Comedian

Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Nish Kumar – Nish Kumar is a Comedian at Underbelly, Bristo Square (Venue 300), reviewed by Jay Richardson

Nish Kumar may not have fulfilled his parents’ ambitions for him to be the UK’s first Asian prime minister. Or his own: to become Mad Men’s Don Draper.

But he can at least claim the dubious distinction of being an internet meme. Shocked to find his poster image for last year’s show labelled “Confused Muslim” and spread across the web, he wonders what it was about the incident that so offended him.

A non-Muslim British-Indian, such misidentification is, unfortunately, a recurring problem for him – from the blinkered woman who refused to accept he’s not writer Sarfraz Manzoor, to the man who worries that an “Arab kid” like him could be set on fire by a literary festival’s vengeful mob.

A smart, articulate comic, he muses intelligently on race, identity and internet discourse, sharing a succession of funny anecdotes while relating his experiences to broader social trends.

Amidst all this analysis, though, he allows himself to become annoyed with a boorish drunk in the front row and recalls over-reacting to another group of noisy punters days earlier, uncharacteristically blowing his top. Such passion brings more edge to his likeable persona but it temporarily destabilises his narrative.

MORE INFO: Nish Kumar – Nish Kumar is a Comedian at Underbelly, Bristo Square (Venue 300), until 25 August

Originally published in The Scotsman