Review: Njambi McGrath: Accidental Coconut at Just the Tonic

McGrath enters the room with a joy and an exuberance that immediately uplifts the audience. You don’t expect a show about apartheid in Kenya to be so hilarious, and yet, in McGrath’s Accidental Coconut, this is what happens. We are treated to stories of her childhood in Kenya, her parents living through apartheid, and some brilliant snipes at the mess that is British politics currently.

McGrath takes aim at British colonisation, and whilst imbuing every fact with humour, this show surprises due to how much it teaches. Yes, McGrath’s jokes land perfectly, and to uproarious laughter – but you are also taught about the nuances of racism, about Kenyan history and culture. In the current post-Brexit climate McGrath is a refreshing voice in the discussion of what your identity truly means. The storytelling in this performance must also be commended, as the audience was completely in her grasp and no one wanted the show to end. 

McGrath informs us of the racial implication behind the word coconut; we are reminded that as a predominantly white audience we can’t begin to understand the effect these microaggressions have on minorities. This is the true brilliance of this show – the jokes are witty, relevant and impressive – but besides that, she does not shy away from the difficult discussions surrounding politics.

This show is effervescent in its humour, style and joy. McGrath’s personality alone could sell out a room, but the well written and politically relevant jokes land with sparks, and whilst the audience leaves feeling medicated on laughter, they also leave pondering the cruel history of the British Empire. 

Njambi McGrath: Accidental Coconut, Just the Tonic at Marlin’s Wynd – Just the Wyndy Room, August 17 – 23rd, 4.05pm

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