Stand-up: Ashley Blaker


When you think of comedians, a man in a kippah, with peyot and wearing tzitit probably doesn't spring to mind but Ashley Blaker is full of wonderful stories about being a slightly unusual Charedi in the UK.

"Everything I tell you tonight is true, unless it isn't" he jokes as he introduces himself.

The name of his stand-up tour, Ungefiltered, is so accurate for this show despite being a made-up word. "I'm trying to offend absolutely everybody" he admits and it is true no one is safe - from the most liberal Jew to the most observant (and occasionally not Jewish at all) he ensures that everyone feels equally targeted.

Indeed, being a Charedi man in a secular country can be quite a challenge, perhaps more so if you are a BBC television producer. Ashley addresses these issues; whether you're anxious about shaking hands with the opposite sex in a meeting or as a ba'al teshuva, he's full of advice for surviving the Jewish world. There's no need to be embarrassed next time your phone goes off in shul because he covers that for you, too. Taking inspiration from Hare Krishna and salmon bagels, Ashley has a brilliant idea to draw more Jews to take part in daily prayers and it seems to work because he soon had the whole room joining in with his chanting - well, the men at least. He also takes a few topical digs at the Jewish world through his alter ego - and rather fair impression of- Lord Sugar.

Ungefiltered makes audiences stop and consider just how funny many Jewish practices actually are. The comic material lays itself before him in his day-to-day life with a perfect balance of religion and popular culture. It's an ideal night of Jewish comedy.

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