Ashley Blaker: Observant Jew (3 stars)

Ashley Blaker: Observant Jew

credit: Steve Ullathorne

Putting secularism behind him for observant comedy

A born-again Orthodox Jew, Ashley Blaker delivers a comedic lecture based around the six tenets that most frequently come up in such cultural discussions. You can probably hazard a guess as to what these might be, but there are other things to take away from Blaker's show that might surprise those who are not of the Jewish faith.

The notion that women's photographs are forbidden from being published in newspapers is one thing; the fact that orthodoxy disallows men from shaking a female hand is quite another. Once Blaker put his football-loving, secular ways behind him (a trip to a synagogue and its ever-smiling rabbi changed the course of his life forever), he flung himself into the rules and regs, leading to some awkward moments in his job at the BBC. While Orthodox Jews wouldn't be seen dead with a TV set in their homes, presumably laptops are fine given that Blaker is on full PowerPoint duty at the Fringe.

Enlightening as this hour is, the humour remains rather light, conservative and wholly predictable. When 'you're ahead of me' is uttered by our host for the second time, it shouldn't necessarily be seen as a compliment to the writing.

Underbelly Bristo Square, until 26 Aug (not 18, 25), 3pm; 18 Aug, 11.55pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).

Ashley Blaker: Observant Jew

  • 3 stars

So Comedy and Broken Robot Productions by arrangement with MLA Ashley Blaker isn't your average Orthodox Jewish man. He's also an internationally acclaimed comedian and now, for the first time, is performing a show for us gentiles, direct from his off-Broadway run. How did a secular Jewish comedy producer end up…

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