Nish Kumar ‘It’s in Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves’

I’d seen Nish Kumar fairly recently on ‘Question Time’ then ‘The Mash Report’ and various other appearances on TV so when I saw he was coming to Brighton, I thought it would be great to see him live. I’ve not seen very much live comedy, just Russell Brand and Tom Allen but it’s always been good and Nish definitely kept my streak of seeing good comedy going.

Rose Matafeo

Nish’s support act for his gig at Brighton Dome was Rose Matafeo.  Rose came on and charmed the audience, well most of them…. all except Chris.  Chris was Rose’s first heckler; we were sat directly above so didn’t get to see him and could barely hear much of what he said but it was obvious that his ire became too much for him to bear silently as Rose launched into her ‘men are gits (but not all men)’ bit.   The key thing about stand-up comedy is that by its very nature, it’s not to be taken seriously and Rose she was just highlighting a problem by poking fun at it.   It was a bit like Mike Pence toddling off to see ‘Hamilton’; it’s great to expose yourself to different opinions if you have an open mind but seems a little masochistic to pay to go somewhere to be offended.   Though, I guess if your starting point is irrational, logic won’t tend to play too big a part in your decision making.   Whilst she did seem taken aback, it didn’t throw her off and she shut him down beautifully and assertively but I was curious to hear the content of her routine had she not had this diversion. She finished with some deftly observed impressions that turned the idea of what an impression could be on its side.

After the interval, Nish’s routine inevitably began with a further take down of ‘Chris’ who I gather had been ejected in the interval along with his mates (why didn’t they tell him to sit down and be quiet?).

As you’d expect, he spent a lot of time talking about Brexit and it was refreshing to see the uncensored expression of bemusement and frustration that you’re not really permitted to show on television.  He also recounted his experiences of racial prejudice in relatable situations and by making fun of how on a practical level it frustrates the object of it, the insanity of something like racial profiling becomes inherently ridiculous.  Though, as was mentioned at one point, a gig like this is kind of an echo chamber where you’re preaching to the converted.  I also related to Nish’s frustrations with when those people you’ve looked up to as role models (Woody Allen, Ricky Gervais etc.) then go on to let you down – what are you supposed to do with that?

Nish always comes across as a very charming guy and he really had the Brighton audience on his side.  I especially love how he frequently cracks himself up; when asked how he’d describe dial-up internet, a young lad in the audience replied ‘the internet of yesteryear’ which tickled Nish as much as it did the audience.

Nish’s tour ‘It’s in Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves‘ is on until the end of March 2019 and I’d definitely recommend going along (though Chris should probably think again if he was considering another booking).

ActNish Kumar, supported by Rose Matafeo
VenueBrighton Dome
Date1 February 2019

Published by


Welsh librarian, working in London and living in Brighton.