Comedy Review: Daliso Chaponda: Blah Blah Blacklist, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh

Chaponda is a fearless comic, sure to divide opinion.
Chaponda is a fearless comic, sure to divide opinion.
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This is an unexpectedly political show. It is genial, gentle, and genuinely thought-provoking

Daliso Chaponda: Blah Blah Blacklist, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh * * * *

The terminally woke may not like it, but it comes from a fascinating place, little visited these days, especially in political comedy. A place where anger is not the anchor for everything.

The hour has nuance, it has questions and in it Chaponda wrestles with the current predilection for cancellation as a primary method of dealing with artists of any kind who transgress.

Of course, he warms us up with some schtick and draws us gently in to his argument that just possibly, we should be wary of throwing creative babies out with dirty bathwater. He grew up with Bill Cosby as his hero and his inspiration. Cosby’s fall and subsequent cancellation from the annals of comedy was devastating to him but, he says, easier to accept because what he did was criminal.

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But what about Louis CK ? Chaponda struggles to ditch the admiration he has always had for the man’s work. And Liam Neeson? Frankly, he is not that bothered what Liam thought forty years ago.

Chaponda is truly libertarian in his inability to embrace the book-burning and music- erasing so beloved of today’s judgemental classes. And he takes flak for his open-minded stance. It takes a broad back to bear online hate from one side telling him to go back to where he came from and the other calling him a coconut. He is, it transpires through this jolly-tough show quite a guy. The trials (literally) of his own father and the experiences around them make for an extraordinary final section of the hour.

This is a brave and honest political piece wrapped in the warmth and friendliness of an accomplished comedian. And it has the best pre-show music in Edinburgh.

Until 26 August

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