Rahul Kohli is not just a skilled comic; he has brains, heart, and guts enough to make
Creativity and integrity that deserves support
Right from the outset he presents an affable, quick-witted, and easy-going stage presence. His opening few minutes aim at finding commonalities between his audience and himself, and whilst some stronger gags might have made a more impactful start to the show, this tactic is later revealed to be highly thematically appropriate. Kohli is not just performing for laughs; he is attempting to create some real art. He discusses racism, terrorism, homophobia and sexism, keeping things light even in the more tense moments, and without ever letting the comedic momentum fall away. In addition, his opinions are clearly and carefully considered. Kohli deftly brings us up to his intellectual level, delivering lightning-fast explanations of US foreign policy and immigration history and firing out strong punchline after strong punchline once the show gets going.
A section about feminism is better-researched in its set-ups than its punchlines; If Kohli reworked this block with more confidence in his own ability to lead his audiences up the intellectual ladder it would prevent it from dragging. One or two gags, for instance pops at Dundee and references to Game of Thrones, are a little obvious.
Despite these minor issues, the climax to this well-structured show reveals a moving message. To try to do something artistically and emotionally significant with a stand-up show, especially a Free Fringe show by a performer in only their second year at Edinburgh, is evidence of creativity and integrity that deserves support. Go and see this show: comedy needs more Rahul Kohlis.