Ken Cheng: To All The Racists I've Blocked Before
- Marissa Burgess
- 16 August 2019
A dry and deft analysis of racism on social media and on the streets
Ken Cheng has restricted his timescale this year to produce a show on the wide-reaching issue of racism. It's sad (and shocking for a white person) to learn how much abuse the British-Chinese comedian receives on a regular basis on Twitter.
The passage of time largely features the opening months of this year when he was involved in writing a children's TV programme that centred on a Chinese takeaway alongside a lead white writer. Cheng deftly works in the reaction to Liam Neeson's shocking admission of racism earlier this year in order to express our own nonsensical responses to bigotry.
This is a slick, finely-plotted hour that registers the differences in racists as well as the difference in racism: intolerance towards white people is just funny, as it's punching. But an incident in the street makes him realise that his experiences of racism are different to that which black people are on the receiving end of. Matter of factly throwing out punchlines with dry wit, this is an important show that goes some way to dissecting our relationship with race in this country.
Bedlam Theatre, until 25 Aug, 6.30pm, £10 (£8).