Daphna Baram: Something to Declare (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Daphna Baram: Something to Declare

Illuminating and poignant take on tough subjects

Cross-cultural similarities and differences are a mainstay of comedy. This year, a lot of comedians will be tackling the controversial subject of immigration. Those aspiring to be more daring will be trying to find punchlines in terrorism. Daphna Baram – Israeli, Jewish, a former human rights lawyer and also former journalist now living in London – is uniquely placed to discuss all three with an underpinning of authenticity.

Framing her anecdotes around the British citizenship test, she lays out the differences between Israeli and British (specifically middle-class English) hospitality. She contrasts overbearing Yentas with the bumbling Hugh Grant type in a manner that feels fresh and enlightening, her warmth elevating the gentle, conversational nature of her delivery. Her personal experience of gunfire and terrorist threats gives a poignancy to the subject, making it seem bolder than in other comics’ irreverent approaches. For those who have not experienced the citizenship test, the quiz portion of the hour is genuinely illuminating and Baram asks for feedback from citizens and immigrants alike.

Like her impression of Israeli hospitality, in which refusal is not an option, Baram welcomes all into her world without taking no for an answer and offers not just a pleasant hour of storytelling, but food for thought.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, 226 0000, until 29 Aug (not 24), 2.30pm, free.

Daphna Baram: Something to Declare

  • 3 stars

Sassy wit from the Israeli journalist turned stand-up.