COMEDY FESTIVAL: Comedy so of-the-moment, it’s not been written yet

It's only two weeks until Nish Kumar appears at the Shepherds Bush Comedy Festival and he has no idea what material he's going to use. Literally no idea.

“I could have used older material from an earlier tour,” says the topical gag-merchant.

“But I'm finding the relevance of my stuff is becoming null and void on a more or less weekly basis.”

Nish is one of the top names at H&F Council's Shepherds Bush Comedy Festival, run in partnership with the Bush Theatre and PBJ Management from 1-4 June.

He took a tour around various comedy styles, before finding his niche as an edgy political comedian, running a commentary on the issues of the day.

And with those issues changing on an almost daily basis, sometimes through as much as 360 degrees, he says he finds the whole world of now a 'challenging' prospect.

“This is the fourth consecutive year we've had a major public vote, and each of the previous ones has changed the landscape quite a bit,” he says.

It's rising to that challenge that has made him a well known face on Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, and QI.

“It will all be fresh material,” he insists. “And even the show doesn't have a title yet.”

Those show titles are something he has become known for in recent years, and perhaps this one might evolve from what comes out on the night in Shepherds Bush.

His 2015 Edinburgh show was called 'Long word... Long word... Blah Blah Blah... I'm so clever'; while his 2016 one was the even more curious (not to mention of-the-moment) 'Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Unless You Shout the Words Real Loud'.

This summer he won't be gracing Edinburgh, for the first time in 11 years, citing a diary packed with intriguing 'other projects'.

But he's more than happy to be at The Bush Theatre, saying: “Its really nice to perform somewhere within walking distance of home.”

So being a local lad (he was born in Wandsworth), will he be popping in to see a few other gigs at the festival – and what are his recommendations?

“I'm a big fan of Nina Conti,” he says, “and Tim Key is always worth seeing.

“Plus Geins Family Gift Shop definitely has to be caught.”

Now, back to writing that material, Nish...

Nish Kumar at the Shepherds Bush Comedy Festival: 6.30pm, 3 June, The Bush TheatreTickets £15.


Shepherds Bush Comedy Festival flyer


Shepherds Bush Comedy Festival programme

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