Phil Wang: Kinabalu
- Rowena McIntosh
- 9 August 2017
This article is from 2017
Self-deprecation and risqué fun make for a strong new hour
Early on in his run, Phil Wang acknowledges, to great amusement, that he hasn't quite worked out the links in his show yet, after announcing suddenly that he got a haircut the other day. Rather than feel disjointed, there's so much fun in a show that hops about from horror films and wordplay with his own name, to the positives of the British Empire via buying lube in Waitrose.
He muses on the realities of being a British East Asian, acknowledging some of the stereotypes present in his family history, mocking white assumptions and skilfully treading the tightrope between race and racism. Many comics will attempt this at the Fringe, but few will succeed so well as Wang; with humorous self-deprecation, killer punchlines and just the right amount of risqué, he hits the target each time.
At 27, Wang is an assured presence. His take on being a heterosexual male feminist is apparently so on-point there's an exclamation of 'it's true' from among the men nodding in agreement. There's just one slip where he forgets his place and breaks the spell in this otherwise strong show from a comedian who is becoming a fixture of the Fringe. Hopefully now he'll get that invite to the BBC Asian network.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug (not 14), 7pm, £10–£12 (£9–£10).