Nazeem Hussain: Legally Brown
A show full of indignant ire and scattershot routines
This article is from 2016.
The heart of Nazeem Hussain's show is the weird and stupid way that countries like the UK, US and his native Australia conflate and confuse skin colour, religion and terrorism. He is particularly vexed at his homeland's laughable attempts at intelligence-gathering in Muslim communities involving incompetent phone taps and fine dining.
An affable, smart guy, Hussain seems most at home with routines about identity, such as his woeful Tamil, his immigrant parents' expectations, and the way his mental integration of several cultural influences sometimes lead him to rash decisions, best illustrated by a silly bit about being conned into buying a pair of awful trousers by dancing. He indignantly mocks the sort of facile questions posed by immigration officials which, admittedly, has been well riffed-on before by others, but it's not often you get them first-hand from a frequent guest of the authorities.
Hussain is clearly righteously angry but he's careful to be, you know, not that kind of angry, which leads to some great self-correction jokes accompanied by an implicit irritation that any correction should even be needed. Outside these routines it feels a little scattershot and he's keen to gauge his audience. Tonight he seemed a bit thrown by (though grateful for) a hefty Muslim contingent in the crowd.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 28 Aug (not 16), 8pm, £10.50–£12 (£9.50–£11).