Alchemedians Live: Review
Sunday 24th May 2015
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Star rating: *****
An evening of razor-sharp humour was promised from the best of the British Asian comedy scene and it didn’t disappoint.
Experienced host Hardeep Singh Kohli did a superb job compering the night. I loved his musical opening to the show. The night was naturally full of Asian cultural references, but with Hardeep there were plenty of Scottish references thrown in to reflect his unusual Scottish-Asian heritage. There was a neat, topical reference to the Scottish rejecting separation from the UK in the referendum last year, in spite of the Scottish just a few weeks earlier (7 May 2015) voting in 56 SNP MP’s at the general election.
The cultural references were great to listen to and observe the audience reaction, with shout outs to the Hindu’s, Punjabi’s, Gujurati’s and Sikh’s in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. It makes a change from shout outs to East, West, North & South London or Jamaica, Barbados or Grenada!
The story re mistaken for Omid Djallili was terrific.
Radio presenter Nihal, debuted with his first ever stand up show. Not for him a tiny gig in a backstreet pub, but the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre! Well, you would never have guessed it was his first gig. Nihal was very, very good. He was confident, funny and self-assured. Being a DJ/radio presenter would have given him that stage confidence, but to bring the funny as well was extremely impressive.
His gag about the difference between “Asian famous and White famous” was excellent.
I know he doesn’t need to do this, but I think he should do some stand up comedy gigs.
Sadia was excellent and had the audience laughing away at her “boring life” especially when she compared it to the Nobel prize winning Malala, of whom she based her Edinburgh Fringe ‘I am not Malala’ show on.
Sadia has a unique style, akin to dry delivery, with a spoken word poetry cadence to some of her material. She is a very likeable, unassuming comedian, who delivers plenty of fine jokes that got the audience merrily laughing away.
Shazia was on fine form, referring to her Birmingham roots and previous career as a Science teacher. The audience really appreciated this stalwart of the comedy scene.
Imran, a familiar face from ‘Live at the Apollo’ performed a barnstorming set to close the show. He talked about his travails travelling, dealing with racist customs officers, being Asian in a post 9/11 world.
Imran was fabulous, entertaining fun, with a gently political edge to parts of his set.
This was a brilliant show and it was great to see Asian comedians doing their thing. I especially welcomed the “in” cultural jokes and the odd jokes here and there in Asian languages which went over my head. That was perfect as it made me feel that I was at an authentic Asian show. So many Asian languages are spoken that it is easy to see why the show was predominantly in English, for even within the Asian community, the jokes would have been lost on large parts of the audience if in language they do not speak.
Review © Tiemo Talk of the Town
You can see some of these acts on the comedy circuit all over the country as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe 7th-31st 2015.