Paul Sinha review - SkinnyFest 2

Article by Ian Massie | 14 Aug 2006
Paul Sinha is a man blessed with so much natural material that his comedy contempories could carve him up among themselves and dine out on the laughs for years. A public-school-educated, openly gay British Asian, who also happens to be a practising GP with a gambling habit, Sinha seems as perplexed as the rest of us as to quite how he managed to turn out like this.

Saint or Sinha is the story of Sinha's life today, that of a perennially single 36-year-old man continuing to defy any semblance of social convention. Within society, Sinha seems to inadvertently attract confrontation and confusion in equal measure, be they from other gay men, his proud Indian father or the macho-aggressive England fans he encounters following his nation abroad. The show is unafraid to venture into darker areas of modern-day Britain, a society occasionally blighted by racism, prejudice and a hysterical, one-eyed media, but one that – Sinha concludes – ultimately still possesses the tolerant values that encouraged his family to emigrate here from India in the 1960s.

If all this sounds an uncomfortably weighty basis for a show, then rest assured that it never feels that way. Sinha's earnest delivery is interspersed with wonderfully humorous asides and rip-roaring anecdotes. There is an occasionally ranting tone, but politics is generally kept to a minimum. The result is an hour of fresh, intelligent comedy, that challenges the audience to put aside their preconceptions and do their best to relax in Sinha's engaging, intriguing – and above all very, very funny – company.
Paul Sinha - Saint or Sinha?, Pleasance Courtyard, until August 28 (not 15), 19:15, £9.50/£8 (£8/£6.50).