Review: Nish Kumar – It's in Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves

In the present political climate, happy wasn’t exactly the emotion I was expecting from Nish Kumar. Yet here he is, suited and booted, arms aloft, grinning to the sell-out crowd like he’s just won a hard-fought by-election. After fourteen Fringe appearances, it’s the double Comedy Awards nominee’s biggest audience and most prestigious venue to date and he’s absolutely buzzing.

It’s great to be part of this mutual love-in as the crowd let loose with some of the loudest applause I’ve heard this year. The good mood doesn’t last long, however. The star of The Mash Report is soon back to his default apoplectic setting as he takes a long look at hard Brexit. In a section liberally sprayed with both spit and expletives he goes ballistic at Boris, Jacob Reese-Mogg and some of his own Leave-voting relatives. Biting pseudo-sympathy for Theresa May’s resignation tears raises some of the biggest whoops of the evening. “Is this a comedy gig or a rally?” he asks, before deciding that it doesn’t really matter.

It’s a beautifully-paced set. Nish offers up four of these extended turbo-rants throughout the show whilst allowing himself and the audience to catch their breath in between with some wonderfully self-deprecating stories. There’s an ear-bleedingly accurate friend’s impersonation of Nish’s speaking voice. Everything in this show is perfectly-pitched, except that, it would appear.

He does get a little heavy-handed with anecdotes from previous performances on this tour. Negative comments from London and Kent are met with scarcely-concealed incredulity by this appreciative crowd. On-the-money observations regarding male feminism, white terrorists and incels generate belly-laughs whilst the most scathing criticism of the night is reserved for fellow comedian, Ricky Gervais. His negative comments on a Netflix special regarding the transgender community are brutally and brilliantly dispatched.

Nish Kumar: It’s In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves, Assembly George Square, 19-25 Aug, 9pm

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