Kwame Asante: Open Arms (3 stars)

This article is from 2017

Kwame Asante: Open Arms

Mark Dawson

A gentle hour given some spark by consideration of racism and identity

Kwame Asante has recently had to move from his native London to Birmingham, so that he could start a new job as a junior doctor. Thus, he has had to 'open his arms' to new experiences. This début hour of comedy from the award-winning Asante is a long-awaited one as he's been pretty busy working as a junior doctor and being underpaid for saving lives. It's a laid-back, gentle affair using the loose concept of having to open his arms to new experiences in order to talk about a variety of topics in his life. Along the way is his take on dating, his parents and pretending to be Adele in a nightclub.

But the most interesting material is found in the everyday racism he experiences as a British man of Ghanaian origins and his life working as a junior doctor. Particularly enjoyable is his lampooning of the ridiculous and somewhat naive comments he's received from less enlightened, elderly patients in his care. The stand-out moments here, however, include his response to a friend's comment on the reason that was given at her school as to why black people's palms are lighter in tone. And his denouement is a fine one, imagining the consequences of a UKIP coalition government.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug, 6.45pm, £8.50–£10 (£7.50–£9).

Kwame Asante: Open Arms

  • 3 stars

CKP and ROAR Group Present 'Between moving to a new city, starting a new career and gaining new responsibilities, award-winning comedian Kwame Asante has had to embrace a lot of changes over the past few years. He’s been doing his best to process it all, but could do with your help! His eagerly anticipated debut show sees…