The room is small and the stage too small for the character in front of you. However, the intimacy of such a small venue lets you get up close and personal with Athena as she presents her neat observations and frustrations with casual racism in British society.
Kugblenu explains white privilege for those who may not recognise it or who have forgotten its roots, and finally draws the line on when cultural appropriation is acceptable, and when it is just downright rude and embarrassing. Her delivery is slightly unpolished, but this adds charm to the delivery as her views and jokes flow like a sequence of thoughts told aloud.
You might not agree with all she says, however she is laughing with you all the way and even with little feedback from the audience she was able to hold onto everyone. She enjoys provoking the lefties and liberals in the audience with new ideas about Trump and by highlighting society’s naivety when it comes to understanding and celebrating multi-ethnic Britain. Kugblenu also addresses feminist issues, however on this topic her points remain fairly superficial and fail to add as much to the discussion as her thoughts on race and class do.
Her casual demeanour and cheeky humour when discussing the big topics makes this show very accessible and her observations and encounters as a young, British black woman are ones that will have the crowd listening.
Words: Rachel May
Athena Kugblenu: KMT, Underbelly Med Quad, Aug 6-27 (not 14), 5.50pm