Paul Sinha: Shout Out to My Ex ****

Comedy

The Stand Comedy Club   V5                16.55

August 2nd to 27th  (not 3rd and 14th)

Paul Sinha very clearly does what he says in his show title, and describes the sudden ending of his four year relationship with the younger, good-looking man who was so acceptable to Paul’s parents. He makes us laugh at moments that were surely very painful, which is maybe therapeutic in an, “if he can cope, so can we” way. He tells us about life on a TV game show, about being taken to be his look-alike, and movingly about his father’s ill-health and the sudden crisis of that. He tells us about the less than smooth path to his new relationship. He is very happy to exploit comically his own maladroit behaviour, but of course it is possible to be swept along and take everything as a personal gospel; at one point, Paul does a stage whisper to an audience member – “Some of this is just jokes!”

Paul mentions a little ruefully how he has slipped from number one to number four in famous out gay doctors – the recent changes in political leadership in the Republic of Ireland being one thing that has affected his position. (fear not – I believe some gay doctors are still practising.)

Paul Sinha covers a wide range of material with great confidence and keeps the laughter flowing throughout his hour. He has a very good rapport with his audience, who on this occasion were mostly the more mature type and straight. Many of them will have been drawn by his TV appearances. They were, pleasingly, completely at ease with a show that took the performer’s sexuality in its stride.

After a year away from the Fringe, Paul Sinha has returned with batteries fully charged. He refers to 2016 as a difficult year, but his show s to be recommended as a sparking, sharp and consistently entertaining hour.

 

Tony Challis