Raul Kohli: Makes it Up as He Goes Along

Laughing Horse – Bar 50
Aug 18 – 28, 18.15

Bar 50 is a very down to earth venue for the free festival at the fringe, something we are very thankful for. But we enter at our own risk, the very small room in the Laughing Horse gig began to pack as the comedian delayed his show to make sure every seat was taken. It looked and felt like a crowd familiar with his spine cracking act.
He stood out, after taking to stage, in casual t-shirt introducing himself as an Anglo Indian beginning his sharp no holds barred mockery no matter the subject. I sat in the back and the room felt like erupting any time soon, he played on this atmosphere in a way that he seemed to be expecting it.

His show guidelines immediately involved all of the room with his questions of: ‘Where are you from? and ‘What do you do?, followed by the very involving question ‘What’s your favourite thing about it? He had to deal with spontaneous improvisation a lot, I confess I didn’t want to talk but thankfully he never pointed his finger at me.

He drew out to a more and more relaxed crowd that he set at ease or set fire to, who offered some wildly hilarious lines about the situation. Raul Kohli grew up in Newcastle and his debut at the Fringe in 2016 speaks of his long evolving career in stand up and we could tell that his show was well polished even as he had the room cajoled in a comedically electric atmosphere created in a tiny room with the scene reflecting on his sometimes tender stories of racism and recollection.

The show was almost intimidating to be at, moving with a feverish pace of surreal and political coverage, resoundingly partaking in a comedy of errors. His power resides in the speculation he makes to turn the world upside down. Using his funny bone and large brain he used these sharpest of tool to strip himself down and put it all into the public domain to share experience.

Giving a voice to the messed up in the world and then make a devastating comedy about it, he does it like a hurricane. Showing how one man with a small audience can exhibit, with ruckus delivery, an exhibition that flew across the board, the room until the end of the planet.

If you want to do something very uncomfortable to bring you out of a humdrum day, or you love perplexity and dangerous nervousness find your way to bar 50, for a fight with words. On a more pleasant side were his lines, cajoling but also his willingness to make mistakes and be unsure, a most accomplished act that the right kind of stand up should be

Daniel Donnelly

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