Hardeep Singh Kohli’s show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is tagged ‘Big Mouth Strikes Again’. The blurb on the Fringe website states ‘The Fringe’s favourite comedian, broadcaster, journalist and chef explains all in a brand new show’.
Of course, reviews such as this are all a matter of opinion and what is funny to one person may not be even mildly amusing to another. His self-description as ‘Big Mouth’ certainly rings true. The Glaswegian certainly isn’t slow at giving his opinions on politics, faith and the good citizens of Edinburgh of which he now is, having decided to live in the capital city. The assertion that he is ‘the Fringe’s favourite comedian’ is surely open to debate, certainly if Thursday evening’s performance at the Pleasance Dome is anything to go by.
The die-hard fans in the audience certainly lapped up what was on offer although there were some who either didn’t get his humour (or couldn’t make out what he was saying given his propensity to mumble on occasion) or simply found him unfunny. One person actually walked out of the performance halfway through although it wasn’t clear if he had to dash elsewhere or had simply had enough.
Hardeep’s political views are well-known and while I personally agreed with the content of his rants about the Scottish independence referendum and Tony Blair’s input into the current Labour Party leadership contest, I suspect I wasn’t the only person who felt that they had come to see a stand-up comic and not a political rally.
The funniest line of the evening came not from Hardeep himself but a member of the audience who was called Daniel. When Hardeep made the assumption Daniel was Jewish on account of his name, the instant retort of ‘and I’m also an accountant’ brought arguably the biggest laugh of the evening. And that said a lot about the performance of someone who is reputed to be one of Scotland’s top comedians and broadcasters. It was funny in parts, repetitive in others (the Edinburgh Castle gag just became tedious after an hour) and for some ‘gags’ tumbleweed wouldn’t have been out of place.
As I left the theatre, I couldn’t help but feel there should be a revised tagline for the show: Hardeep Singh Kohli – Big Disappointment…