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Chat Masala with Hardeep Singh Kohli

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Hardeep Singh Kohli serves up a hot masala in the company of a packed audience and invited guests Phil Nichol, Liz Merendino and Chris Cox. Lulling me into pleasant humour with the smell of spices and the prospect of witty banter, Hardeep's gentle voice and modest gestures make for a personal performance despite the large audience.

Hardeep's stand-up is autobiographical. He reminisces about his childhood as an Indian boy growing up in seventies Glasgow. Sporting a pink turban and a kilt, Hardeep delivers a monologue hinting at the ups and downs of multi-cultural Scotland.

After the monologue, while his guests entertain, Hardeep concentrates on the dish he's preparing. “Masala is a special sauce made of different ingredients, assembled in the same place at a special time,” Hardeep remarks. And like a masala sauce, I am reminded that the Edinburgh Fringe brings a variety of different people from different places into a shared space. Within the time and place of this temporary community lie hidden possibilities.

Hardeep Singh Kohli offers up a charming performance along with a taste of India to his guests and audience members. It's a peaceful contrast to the pulsating streets of Edinburgh at Festival time.

- Jack Beglin


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