Athena Kugblenu: KMT (3 stars)

This article is from 2017

Athena Kugblenu: KMT

A smart and relatable hour about the things that are bugging us right now

What we need in society is an intellectual exchange of ideas and a thirst to learn more about one another. This is what Athena Kugblenu manages to convey in a way that's neither earnest nor preachy, just a good-natured hour of ideas that's hard to disagree with.

'KMT' stands for 'kiss me teeth', something she describes as an 'ethnic noise', the sucking-teeth sound people make when they're not impressed. Turns out she's been doing a lot of that lately. Brexit, Trump, police violence, the general election, the fact her Indian mother and Ghanaian father gave her a Greek name. 'It's important to laugh,' she reminds us. 'But don't laugh too much at black jokes if you're not black.'

Much of the show is made up of this good-natured ribbing, but there's more to her act than merely pointing out differences between people. Kugblenu explores identity: her first visit to Ghana when she was 18 left her feeling more British than ever, and there's a balanced mix of intellectual discussion and pop culture, including a subtle but stellar Kardashian joke. KMT isn't always linear and some repetitiveness creeps in, but Athena Kugblenu is so smart and amiable that any chaos makes her even more relatable.

Underbelly Med Quad, until 27 Aug (not 14), 5.50pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).

Athena Kugblenu: KMT

  • 3 stars

So Comedy by arrangement with Troika Tired of the conventions of both the left and right, KMT – acronym for the Caribbean Patois expression 'kiss mi teeth', a mouth gesture used to show annoyance – is a debut hour that finds a new way to talk about politics, class, race and identity at a time both ends of the political…