It is absolutely wonderful to see this magnificent venue hosting a wide array of shows following its December relaunch and I was intrigued to know if political comedy would work there.
For the unacquainted, London-born comedian Nish Kumar is known for his appearances on BBC Two satire show The Mash and for his own show on Radio 4.
His work is very topical at present, and many gags told to the delight of the almost-packed house focused on Brexit and, more to the point, the 33-year-old’s particular outlook on the EU referendum – namely, it’s bad.
Playing up to the local audience, he begged people to shun Scottish independence, claiming: “It would be cruel to leave us English alone putting up with the people from Gloucester and Kent.” Both those areas voted in favour of Brexit, incidentally.
Politics aside, one of the funniest moments was during a sketch where Kumar was illustrating that young people don’t know what dial-up internet is. He assumed the youngest person in the audience was 22 – until he spotted a girl who confessed to being just 12.
The youngster was a fantastic sport and Kumar handled the moment with the expertise you would expect from a veteran performer.
Subjects ranged from racism, transphobia, how ethnic minorities are often treated disrespectfully at airports and how the New York police seemingly think drinking in public is worse than waving a gun.
This was a well-polished show worthy of such a fantastic arena that the Granite City should feel proud of.