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Andi Osho: Afroblighty

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Andi Osho is TV’s current go-to girl, booked on to just about every stand-up show going – even if such ubiquity means guilt by association on some programmes that might be best forgotten.

But left to her own devices, she’s produced a hugely assured Edinburgh debut; a nimble, fluid hour with heart and wit that shines with her upbeat charisma and expressive delivery. She’s charming, cheerful company, which keeps everything entertaining and more than covers the few occasions when the material dips.

There’s a brief bit of compere-style banter at the start of the show, which spreads an irresistible energy through the small room, followed by a few easy, almost formulaic, routines about the feckless youth of her native East London. But this material is merely to taxi the audience into position before the show proper takes off.

Through the prism of nostalgia, she recalls her youth at the turn of the Eighties: the childish noises she made to entertain herself, the shame of falling off her bike, and the not-so casual racism that would be levelled at her family.

She treats the issue not with anger, but as lightly as if it were any other source of observational comedy, thought the underlying importance gives it an extra edge as she talks of people denying their background for fear of it being used as a stick to beat them. Indeed, she admits to having anglicised her first name from the Nigerian Yewande.

There’s a slight hint of the clichéd ethnic comic of ‘Nigerian people do this…’ but again she makes it her own, by getting laughs from honest comment rather than simply a comedy foreign accent. And the themes of tolerance and redefining ‘political correctness’ as simply being nice to each other do not exactly come as a surprise.

But the show is greater than the sum of its parts, a thoroughly amusing package of personal reminiscences underpinned with an exceptionally warm and engaging delivery. And as the bow to tie it up, she bravely puts aside the comedy for a surprisingly touching beat poem about what multicultural Britain means to her. It’s a classy end to a classy show.

Review date: 9 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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