Fairfield Halls, London
In his show Taxi Tour, the comic from last year’s Britain’s Got Talent offers only standard-issue middle-aged standup
Kojo Anim was a star of the black standup circuit for years, but “Britain’s Got Talent changed my life,” he tells his Croydon crowd. The Londoner has booked his Taxi Tour off the back of an appearance in last year’s final, and recounts how that brush with fame – and his Christian faith, and new fatherhood – picked him back up after a grim period in his life. The emotional honesty is refreshing, but plays only a cameo role in an otherwise unadventurous show. Anim certainly does have talent, but – on this evidence – it’s for performing, not for writing distinctive material.
The show opens with a justification for appearing on BGT, and an account of his experience of overnight celebrity. But it soon devolves into standard issue middle-aged standup comparing his unglamorous childhood with that of today’s pampered youth. His parents play their expected role, giving their son broad accents to mimic when not walloping him for the slightest impertinence. “Only an African parent,” reports our host ruefully, “will beat their own child when they see another child doing something.”
This is all brought to cartoonish life by Anim, infectiously excited by childhood memories of McDonald’s, agog at the slow singing in his Pentecostal church. He’s a fine physical comic too, whether popping with anger at being called home from football, or experiencing acute cramp while having sex. There’s more first-base sex comedy – he chooses to end the gig on a lame ejaculation mime – and some unreflective male perspectives (“Guys, we’ve all done the same thing, innit?”) on relationships and childbirth. For all Anim’s talent, he’s picking low-hanging fruit comedy-wise – and it doesn’t taste particularly fresh.