Des Bishop: Made in China (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

Des Bishop

Warm and funny take on a cultural quest after a year's preparation living in China

In preparation for this year’s show, Des Bishop spent some time absorbing another culture. It’s a gambit often used by comedians to mine material, but Bishop went beyond the extra mile and spent a year in China, living with an adoptive family and learning the language.

His show is an attempt to shed light on ‘another side of China’ and, for anyone unfamiliar with the country, Bishop is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. A grasp of the lingo is well demonstrated by an easy conversation with a number of Chinese audience members, and their impenetrable banter proves both impressive and funny. Bishop illustrates his adventures using a PowerPoint presentation and his escapades grow ever more elaborate and absurd. Whether he’s waiting tables, pimping himself at what might be described as a trade fair for spouses, or appearing on the Chinese version of Take Me Out, Bishop’s antics frequently draw gasps of incredulity.

His clear affection for the Chinese allows him to make some raw observations that in clumsier hands could seem racist. Full of excellent cultural observations, Des Bishop’s hour is confident and assured and his story is illuminating, warm and hilarious.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 24 Aug (not 11), 8pm, £10–£13 (£8.50–£12).

Des Bishop: Made in China

  • 4 stars

Des Bishop shares anecdotes from his time in China attempting to learn enough Chinese to perform stand-up in Mandarin.