Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Papa CJ: Naked, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kate Copstick.
By the end of Papa CJ’s show I doubt there is person in the audience who would not, if asked, pretty much open a vein for him. This is a lovely show by a lovely man. And it makes us all laugh, although the large Indian section of the audience is making most of the noise. This is accomplished stand-up that crosses continents and decades while remaining very personal.
The mastery of mix-tape making, a misunderstanding with conditioner and the job he got “because he is black” are juxtaposed with extremely personal revelations about love lost, his divorce and the son he has barely seen. But then we get the sort of observations about growing up in and then returning to India that have the woman next to me weeping and rocking with laughter. “I’m from Calcutta,” she gasps. “This is so true!” His international career is also grist to his comedy mill. For example the minefield of doing BJ jokes in a land where there is no word for blow job. But more than the hilarity, you feel the humanity of the man. And that is not something you can say of many comics. Please don’t be afraid when he starts to remove his clothes. Or flinch if you are chosen for a lapdance. It works out beautifully. As I know his entire audience hopes it will for Papa CJ.
Laughing horse @ Espionage (Venue 185) until 23 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 11 August 2015
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