Loyiso Gola is a rare kind of stand-up comic. There’s no doubt that he’s practised and polished his material but his performance is so natural and relaxed that you forget he’s doing a set and think he’s just having a chat with you, with a few fantastic stories thrown into the mix.
Hailing from South Africa, he picks apart our notions of racism and British awkwardness with childlike glee and disarming common sense. A word of warning: if discussing racism makes you uncomfortable then this show is definitely not for you, no stone is left unturned and Gola piles on the details with a mischievous grin on his face that’s hard not to love – he knows it’s hard to hear but we also desperately need to hear it. If, on the other hand, you’re up for a playful dissection of varyingly racist encounters and ridiculous examples of British people putting their feet in their mouths in attempts to be PC, then you’ll have a great time and come back begging for more!
The show may only last an hour but it completely flies by, with Gola comparing and contrasting the audience’s childhoods with his going to school in a largely Muslim school, resulting in some hilarious stories – trying to fight off bullies during the call to prayer was a particular favourite. The dialogue moves so effortlessly between diverse subjects and observations that you don’t want the show to end, or if it really has to then you’d want to hear him talk some more in the pub afterwards.
Overall it’s a fantastic and eye-opening show; sometimes you need an outsider to point out just how ridiculous you are and Gola does that with pleasure. He has so many important insights and performs with a rare confidence that leaves me very excited to see what he comes up with next.
Liam has been involved as an actor, director and one-time techie at Bedlam Theatre with the EUTC. When he’s not doing anything theatre-related he’s either trying to scrape together a modern languages degree at the University of Edinburgh or coming up with a wittier bio.