Mamoun Elagab: Why I Love White People at Edinburgh Fringe ★★★
An ambitious hour which falls short in the execution, but undeniably shows promise.
Mamoun Elagab impressed us with a short spot at Chortle’s recent Fast Fringe preview at the Leicester Square Theatre, so we were interested to see how his material would stretch out to a full hour.
The short answer is that it doesn’t quite make it – there is the raw material for a big hit show here, a kernel of ideas which will hopefully be taken further. For now, Elagab’s show feels a little under-polished, as if the timing of this years Fringe caught him out.
There’s excellent stuff about language appropriation, and some properly funny segments which have the audience roaring with laughter. The overarching concept, though, seems muddled – at one point towards the end, Elegab seems to suggest the show is called Why I l Love White People in celebration of the kindness and love he has encountered – then lumps Chinese and Sri Lankan connections in with the white people!
There’s an attempt at a Hannah Gadsby-style tonal shift at the very end which doesn’t really pay off – it’s a very tricky skill to master for anyone, let alone someone so early in their career.
Nevertheless, it’s easy to imagine Elagab going down a storm at any number of Fringe showcase events, so do keep your eye out for him – he’s on his way up.
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like: nice pubs, film marathons, not doing real marathons, bad comedy, plays/musicals with shorter second halves, and the Oxford comma.