Fringe comedy review: Eshaan Akhbar - Not for Prophet

The privately educated, former banker, ex-Muslim and son of a Thatcherite and a Labourite. Picture: Youtube
The privately educated, former banker, ex-Muslim and son of a Thatcherite and a Labourite. Picture: Youtube
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Eshaan Akhbar - Not for Prophet | Gilded Balloon (Venue 14) | Star rating: ***

This is an accomplished debut from a classy comic. When Eshaan Akhbar finds something to get his comedy teeth into he will make for an hour of seriously impressive funny. For now, he is relaxed and charming, his writing smart and crafted. His subject matter is, allegedly, autobiographical, although, while the broad sweep of his tale rings true, much of the comedy detail feels contrived.

Almost because of the precision of the writing, several of the taglines can be seen from a way off, but his timing is clean and confident and he weaves a lot of laughter into a narrative circle that takes us through Partition, Bollywood, Margaret Thatcher, Findus frozen pancakes, porn, Muslim Tinder and a singalong to Lord of the Dance, back to a house party at Ramadan, so an element of predictability is forgivable.

He creates a nice callback out of an entire joke, and his routine about taking his nephew on a train puts a fresh coat of comedy paint on an old scenario and it comes out like it is newly made. This is an enjoyable hour and, if the content is slight, it serves to point up the undoubted smooth quality of Akhbar’s comedic talents.

• Until 27 August. Today 2:45pm.