IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Review: Kwame Asante: Open Arms, at Soho Theatre

Cleverly structured jokes and anecdotes as junior doctor delves into themes of getting older and race

02 February, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Kwame Asante

AS a junior doctor, you hope Kwame Asante’s delivery will be perfect – and it is.

After a well-rated debut at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, Asante is now performing his show throughout the country. First on the tour was the Soho Theatre last weekend where he presented a confident set about his new life as a doctor in Birmingham.

If you’re expecting a hour-long piece about the lack of funding in the NHS you’ll leave disappointed. Instead, Asante entertainingly delves into the themes of getting older and race. He speaks of his experiences as a black man growing up in Beckenham and recounts the string of racist patients he’s faced. Asante’s jokes are cleverly structured and his transitions between anecdotes seamless.

There are absurdist qualities to his act that masterfully punctuate the hour, and his transformation into the singer Adele had everyone laughing loudly. Asante is an entertaining act who will no doubt be on the TV within a year.

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