review star review star review star review star review blank star

Paul Sinha: Extreme Anti-White Vitriol

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Paul Sinha is billed as a political comic, although you might find the agenda behind this year’s show a little naïve. We’d all get along much better if we communicate more, whatever out backgrounds, was the earth-shattering gist of his inclusive message.

The usual barn-door-sized targets get their ribbing: the BNP bigots, the women-hating Daily Mail and the drunk, aggressive lads who blight late-night high streets. Sinha’s the first to admit his shortcomings, mind: ‘I’ve got opinions, but no knowledge’, he confesses – perhaps because he is more concerned with absorbing facts for the quiz leagues in which he is so highly-ranked than he is in getting an understanding of the issues on which he spouts.

I appreciate this isn’t reading much like a four-star review yet – even without mentioning the handful of old jokes thrown into the mix. But this is a show that is greater than the sum of its parts, thanks to an strong, consistent train of thought, driven by Sinha’s passion and conviction, and the added insight first-hand experiences have given him.

Plus there are plenty of impressive routines and gags here, too. His explanation of why he can’t be racist – after BNP deputy leader Simon Darby accused him of spouting the titular ‘extreme anti-white vitriol’ – is hilarious, while he tells a great story, whether it be run-ins with a prejudiced mob at the Reading Jongleurs or a gobby Cockney girl at a station platform.

He weaves these anecdotes about being Britain’s only gay, Asian GP-turned-comic into a breathless polemic, relieved by sharp jokes, amplified by their tension-breaking effect. Self-effacingly exposing his desperately single status, needy self-Googling and pub-quiz nerdiness also softens the diatribe, making him seem as flawed as the rest of us. (Well, except the real racists, they are more flawed, obviously).

Ultimately, this is the story of the dog that didn’t bark. The BNP he feared so much were roundly crushed at the election and Sinha’s fears for the tolerant nation he thought Britain was were allayed, at least for now. And however obvious his message of liberal tolerance, his telling it in such a witty and well-argued way can only be a good thing.

Review date: 12 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

What do you think?

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.