Passion and perseverance pay off with a tough crowd
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An animated new stand-up from Edgware, Lee Kern gave his Edinburgh debut show as much welly as he could, despite a thin crowd. It was clearly tough-going, and plenty of his jokes fell flat in an unpolished act, but there was passion and perseverance in abundance and an uncompromising edge that one felt would benefit from more direction.
A shaven-headed Cambridge graduate, who also works as a film-maker, Kern, 31, has an anecdotal, banterish, in-your-face approach that would probably work better in a pub than the more formal setting he found himself in.
His comedy targets included the BNP, racist taxi drivers, the Nazis and fat tanked-up hooligans, and his mode of assault was liberal doses of sarcasm, backed up by some florid language. Envisioning a multiracial society existing in harmony, he recalled being beaten up in east London. "My nose was broken, my teeth were kicked out, and the people beating me up were black and white. That's the dream - blacks and whites being c**** together."
In a stream of invective, he railed against Jade Goody's widower Jack Tweedy, which might have had more impact had more of the eight-strong audience known and cared who he was. And there was the obligatory penis-related material which it's probably best not to elaborate upon.
By the end, having name-checked his audience throughout, Kern had got on first-name terms with the bunch of strangers, and charitably ended up clapping them out. It wasn't comedy gold, but for sheer commitment you wished him a bigger audience next time.
Fringe at Le Monde, until August 30