Nish Kumar: Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Unless You Shout the Words Real Loud (4 stars)

This article is from 2016

Nish Kumar: Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Unless You Shout the Words Real Loud

credit: Idil Sukan/Draw HQ

Mr Consistency strikes again with a hilariously insightful hour

So many modern-day dilemmas to unravel, and only one hour to do it. And yet, Nish Kumar has done it again, with plenty big laughs in there among the enjoyably head-scratching stuff. He loves history, for example, but also loves Britain. How can both things possibly sit right with him, with his Indian ancestors colonised by the Empire?

He was recently heckled onstage on the day of the EU referendum announcement, he explains. Someone in the crowd told him to 'go home', despite living just along the road, in an increasingly gentrified London (the hipster effect also gets a healthy slagging from Kumar, but he clarifies that it's important to get angry with government and policy, more than at the men with Victorian moustaches).

A large chunk of his show was duly updated with searing commentary on Brexit, from the alarming creep of overt racism to the failure of neoliberalism, and Bojo's 'racially not ideal' views. It's not as if Kumar can be accused of bandwagon-jumping to get bums on seats either, as he's been building a name as a consistently witty and wise comedian for over a decade now, deftly fusing race issues with playful bits about 90s lad culture and the Spice Girls: Geri in that Union Jack dress was basically an EDL wet dream, he shudders.

It's only after a very deliberate warm-up section with chummy, self-deprecating stuff about making a tit of himself at a Prince gig that he's relaxed the room enough to launch into his much knottier, insightful material. And that's when he's off and flying. Kumar's skill is casually shoehorning in some very weighty, problematic issues to a set of sparkling, memorable pub banter. A consistently class act, he's very much at home on his comedy soapbox.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug, 8pm, £9–£12 (£8–£10.50).