James Nokise – Loft @ Q Theatre

The Q Loft last night played witness to the opening night of James Nokise’s sequel to his acclaimed So So Gangsta show – Bronaissance.

Nokise is actually involved in the production of uproarious TV show 7 Days, but this act was a far-flung contrast to the oft slapstick nature of Messrs Ego, Henwood and Corbett. Bronaissance was a combination of the musings, feelings and social commentary of a clearly sharp and intelligent man, with sporadic injections of laughter and frequent doses of fun. That being said, it certainly wasn’t a laugh out loud production, and probably the more neutral watcher (and less avid Nokise-ite) would’ve hoped for more to tickle them.

As Nokise swoops from a personal quest to vanquish the word “faggot” from his nephew’s vocabulary to stinging (and, it turns out, valid) criticism of Enid Blyton and her bigoted views, Bronaissance turns out to be not so much a comedy show but more a humorous yet dark presentation on the world. The audience is steered through his early twenties to where he is today with anecdotes and personal views, with a general theme of highlighting racial inequality prevalent throughout.

Discussions veer from Margaret Thatcher to Nokise’s racist grandfather, from Welsh language and psychological guerilla warfare in an absorbing hour and something of political-laced and satirical entertainment.

And that’s essentially what this show is – entertaining. It’s more a comedy lecture than a routine, but it’s entertaining.

It’s difficult to be critical of someone with such a clear and strong social conscience, someone who genuinely wants to make the world a better place (voting slips are handed out at the end of the show to ensure non-voters are given the chance to be converted), but from a purely comedic perspective there’re likely to be much much funnier shows at this year’s Festival.

For side-splitting humour look further afield; for intellect, interest and pleasant chuckling Nokise is your man.

You can see James Nokise at the Loft at Q Theatre until 10 May.

Reviewed by Sam Jeffery

3 stars

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