Comedy review: Paul Sinha, Glasgow

Paul Sinha is one of the most technically gifted comics on the British circuit. His manner and delivery are very studied, very crafted, and very, very Radio 4. While this means that you’re in the safe hands of a consummate professional, it also suggests a cool distance.

Paul Sinha. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Paul Sinha - The Stand, Glasgow

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It certainly doesn’t help when he charmlessly gets back on the saddle after sneezing over a couple of punchlines or that he overly addresses his gathering as “ladies and gentlemen” and “Glasgow”. Nothing wrong with politeness in a comedy club setting, of course, but it only serves to leave little room for passion in his set. Which is odd, because this show is a very personal one, pulling together themes (and many routines) that have informed his stand-up over the last decade.

A former GP, Sinha is a quiz king (fans of ITV’s The Chase are present in their dozens it seems) and stridently non-stereotypical gay man (he absolutely loves his sport). Though his biggest fear has been laid to rest (coming out to his ultra-conservative father), Sinha is still riddled by conflict and doubt. He wishes he had shown more bravery during his earlier life and is as celebrity-obsessed as your average Heat-buyer.

This compendium Glasgow International Comedy Festival show is packed with lovely, clever gags around all his chosen subjects, most of which undercut the direction a story is going, but on a few too many occasions are telegraphed. “You’re ahead of me, Glasgow” sounds like a compliment but merely reflects on the obviousness of what’s coming next.

Seen on 21.03.14