Star Rating ****
Laughing Horse at The Counting House (Venue 170)
Daily. 15:30. Free.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Monday 4th August 2014
Making his Edinburgh Fringe debut Kevin J set about winning over a new audience with relish.
In a short 25 minute set he delivered a sparkling set that not only gave people an insight into his background, education and upbringing, but also tickled your funny bones.
As with Jim Davidson’s ‘No Further Action’ show also on at the Fringe, Dad’s come in for a bit of stick as he too pokes fun at his old man with tales of his hilarious escapades and dodgy business plans.
Though I’ve seen Kevin J many times before it was interesting to learn a little more regarding his Tottenham, North London, upbringing. The fact he was the “token white guy” made him the ethnic minority at his school. This he took full and humorous advantage of and had the audience in stitches with his school days anecdotes. That has shaped him and given him a cutting edge niche as a comedian. It explains why for the first six years of his stand up career he has primarily performed and fitted in well on the Black comedy circuit. He isn’t parodying Black culture, he has lived, breathed and eaten it. So much so that he is a much sought after performer for shows in Ghana and Nigeria. That’s amazing and it was nice to hear that he is just as taken aback by that.
There was a lot that was memorable about this show, from the jokes regarding the Nigerian pilot, walking he streets of Nigeria and flyering in Edinburgh. He opened with a very strong, fresh and topical gag which could only have been written as a result of an early observation from his time in Edinburgh. That’s something a number of performers I have seen already seem to have forgotten or been unaware of. It’s vital to the success of your show to get in some early laughs to get the audience on side. You can only really get away with a slow start if you’re famous or your deadpan style delivers funny gags.
Kevin J came across as slightly nervous. Why I’m not sure as he’s performed at Shepherds Bush Empire, Hackney Empire, Broadway Theatre and other big London venues and this was a far, far smaller more intimate venue than those huge theatres. I guess it was because he was pushing himself to break into a new arena, two new one’s in fact. Not just the Edinburgh Fringe, which is a huge experience and understandably anyone would be apprehensive at doing a month long season for the first time.
Secondly, he’s performing to a mainstream audience, something he’s only been doing for six months. It’s admirable to see someone stretch themselves and not just stay in their comfort zone.
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is that ‘The Urban Truth’ is a very funny show that is well worth seeing. I see a very bright future for this young man. At just 26 years old, with 6 years experience already under his belt Kevin J is doing very well indeed and will go far. Touring Africa, playing all over England and now Edinburgh. A Kevin J show is good fun and makes you laugh. What more could you want?
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
If you attended the show, we’d love to read your views. Feel free to post them on our blog.