Thursday, 4 August 2011

Chat Masala with Hardeep Singh Kohli **

After my previous blog on the increase in the number of Chat Shows at this year's Fringe I took my first foray into that genre yesterday with Chat Masala

I was offered a free ticket to see this show and accepted because I heard Andrew Maxwell was a guest and he is always worth seeing.

The format is very similar to a typical daytime TV show. You do a bit of cooking and bring on the guests then let them try the food at the end of the show. I have to say my girlfriend is a fan of these types of shows, I tend to get distracted by facebook, twitter or anything else on my phone after about 5 minutes because I find them mind numbing. I only watch them if there is someone interesting on.

Andrew Maxwell turned up, despite being ill, so fair play to him! The chat between him and Hardeep focused for quite a long time on sectarianism in Scotland, which to be honest I hear far too much about being a football fan. When I'm at the Fringe I'm hoping to get away from all that boring nonsense, and more to the point, it's not funny.

They did point out a couple of times that it was a chat show and not a comedy show and they basically said that they didn't apologise for straying into serious matters - that's all well and good, but when you have a comedian talking to a comedian, you want to at least raise a chuckle.

The second guest was actor Art Malik who came along with his daughter Keira (who is producing his show) and later in the play his wife and other daughter came on stage too.

I'm not too familiar with his work, although it does sound like he's a very accomplished actor. His chat was interesting in places, but often it deviated to his family saying things like how nice a view they had of Arthur's Seat from their flat... Not exactly riveting.

Finally, the highlight for me was the last guest Joe Stilgoe, a comedy jazz pianist who did a medley of songs suggested by the audience. He was endearing, funny and a great musician.

The show will have different guests every day so you will get a wide variation and there will certainly be better shows than this one in the run. I have to be honest though and say that out of all the shows I saw yesterday, this was the one I would not have regretted missing, which is why it only gets two stars.

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