Lee Kern opens with Filthy Raucous Soul Bitch
Promising debut from cheeky Londoner
This article is from 2010.
Inviting critics to the very first performance of his Fringe debut run, as opposed to giving himself time to ease in, could have gone either way for Lee Kern. On the one hand, he’s got a better chance of receiving a write-up, which becomes more problematical once the zillion other stand-ups open their doors to the critics. On the other, if he’s shaky on the first night, he may hamstring his maiden Edinburgh voyage with bad reviews.
Happily for this young stand-up from west London, he pretty much lives up to the title of his show with a performance that’s by turns cocky and gobby, cynical and liberal-minded and finally surprisingly tender. If his pacing wobbles once or twice, it’s more than made up for by the smartly constructed, if not particularly groundbreaking material, and by his slow-burning but eventually winning stage presence. Cutting backwards and forwards between a handful of troubling topics – racists, prison rape, monogamy, Jack Tweed – Kern ends on a bittersweet note with heartbreak and love. And heartbreak again. One to watch.
Le Monde, 270 3914, until 30 Aug, 5.30pm, £5.