Njambi McGrath: Accidental Coconut (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Njambi McGrath: Accidental Coconut

credit: Steve Ullathorne

Engaging but sketchy look at African identities

At comedy shows you may have noticed that audiences, always fearful that they'll become the focus of a sharp joke, refuse to populate the first few rows. Njambi McGrath, however, is quick to make the audience feel safe in her hands. 'I don't pick on friends,' she says, as she easily convinces half the room to move closer to her. McGrath has a magnetic personality, and the confident manner in which she delivers the introduction to Accidental Coconut (covering black stereotypes and the racist connotations of the term 'coconut') elicits easy laughter.

The irony of delivering an hour on the effects of the British Empire on African identity to a majorly white and British audience is ever present, but it doesn't seem to intimidate the Kenyan comedian. If anything, she takes the opportunity to educate less historically inclined minds, an aspect of the set that she perhaps stretches too thin; at points, Accidental Coconut feels more like a university lecture than a comedy show.

This, coupled with a slightly overused catchphrase, are the staples of a show still finding its feet. But the first half indicates that it's well on its way there.

Just the Tonic at Marlin's Wynd, until 23 Aug (not 12), 4.05pm, donations at the venue.

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