Review: KAI SAMRA: NATIVE, Pleasance Dome

Review of Kai Samra: Native at Edinburgh Fringe

By: Aug. 13, 2022
Edinburgh Festival
Review: KAI SAMRA: NATIVE, Pleasance Dome
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Review: KAI SAMRA: NATIVE, Pleasance Dome Review: KAI SAMRA: NATIVE, Pleasance Dome Native, Kai Samra's second fringe show, weaves stories of personal and professional injustice together. Tracing the genealogy of each side-by-side, it considers the legacy of his Indian grandfather (who bloody loved a mango) with Samra's own journey from pennilessness to comedian-hood.

Honestly, Samra's had a Bit of a Time. From homelessness, racism, and having to breathe the same air as Tommy Robinson, his comedy is always full of surprising tales that are on the edge of being unbelievable. His cutting social commentary befits the wild times we are living through, although some might rather forget the phenomenon of thirsting for Rishi Sunak during the first lockdown...

There needs to be more shows like this that have their roots in criticism of the arts. Samra's perspective is rare to encounter. His take on the systemic issues underpinning the Fringe - and the comedy world more broadly - presents an image of how it really is. 'Diversity' and 'representation' are buzzwords that are undoubtedly shaping the material that makes it to the festival, but Samra provides a peek behind the curtain that reveals the frequently dark reality of this.

This isn't an hour of belly-laughs but you can find those elsewhere. They're worth sacrificing because, as Samra says, at this show 'you'll either be laughing or learning'. This is an exciting comedian that reframes what comedy 'is' or might be. Boundary-pushing, transformative stuff.

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