Ken Cheng: Best Dad Ever (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Ken Cheng: Best Dad Ever

credit: Steve Ullathorne

Thought-provoking tale of an untold family history

What at first might look like just another silly Fringe title takes on a whole load of import as the secret family history of Ken Cheng is laid out before us. At the age of 27, this Cambridge lad is a manchild in many ways: he loves cereal without milk and has an iron-like attachment to objects from his childhood. He also now has a solid sense of his own worth, given that he can say things like 'I see phrases differently from other people' without even slightly blushing.

The winner of last year's Dave Joke of the Fringe Award proposes the line that he believes will make him victorious two years' running: it's deliberately and hilarious not a contender. With a mum who is a hoarder and a dad whose pronouncements on social media could do with a little coaching, we hear about how his show title came about via a Toblerone campaign.

Meanwhile, he muses on Pixar fathers, recalls an encounter with 'avant-garde racism', and shows off the curious things he's discovered while considering numbers and mathematics (he dubs himself The Human Calculator). A winning stage cocktail of arrogance and vulnerability, Ken Cheng has produced a thought-provoking and occasionally awkward tale of secrets and lies.

Bedlam Theatre, until 26 Aug (not 15), 3.30pm, £10 (£8).

Ken Cheng: Best Dad Ever

Comedy from the Cambridge mathematics dropout and professional poker player.