Edinburgh Fringe comedy review: Lucie Pohl's Immigrant Jam, Shedinburgh

German-born, NYC-raised comedian brings her NY Times Critic's Pick show to the Shedinburgh Fringe Festival.

Lucie Pohl.
Lucie Pohl.

Lucie Pohl's Immigrant Jam ****

New York comic Lucie Pohl originally conceived Immigrant Jam as a riposte to the racist rhetoric of Donald Trump. But its communal celebration of diversity has found its apotheosis in coronavirus times, with lockdown unable to prevent audiences and performers from various countries, living in others, joining together in laughter. Not to make it sound too worthy, but this Edinburgh edition was a veritable celebration of the Fringe, reuniting the ebullient Pohl with several of the acts she first encountered here.

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Indicative of the immigrant experience perhaps, especially for comedians, was a running theme of confusion at the mysterious ways of the divine. These ranged from the lightweight but genially charming Italian Catholic stand-up Luca Cupani gently chiding God, through to Eshaan Akbar, an English, lapsed Muslim of Pakistani and Bangladeshi ancestry, exploiting the pandemic for a hilariously triumphalist gag about sharia law.

The standout of a strong hour was Palestinian-American Muslim comic Atheer Yacoub, yet to grace Edinburgh, though it would unquestionably appreciate her dry, sardonic wit about losing her faith. Japanese comic Yuriko Kotani was endearing as ever about her UK culture clashes, while, his uncertainty with Zoom notwithstanding, it was great to once again enjoy oddball Norwegian Daniel Simonsen, seldom glimpsed outside of the US nowadays.

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