Comedy
The Scene

Preview: Phil Wang at The Atkinson, Southport

The up and coming Malaysian-English comic comes to Southport’s Atkinson later this month, and Alan Parry seriously suggests you check him out. 

Phil Wang brings his latest show, Kinabalu, to The Atkinson, Southport on Wednesday 28th February.

Wang is one of a number of superb, up and coming comedians that are taking the circuit by storm at present. He stands out among a crowd of young, smart, and brilliantly funny contemporaries. And, it would seem that given his growing reputation he will be making us laugh for as long as he wants pleases.

For a relative newcomer, he may surprise some with the amount of authority he displays. Write about what you know is the advice often dished out to burgeoning creatives, and his experience of life as a Malaysian born son to English and Chinese parents means that issues of race and immigration heavily inform his material. However, his new set also considers the flip side of that same coin as he bravely tackles both patriotism and empire.

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He possesses a genuine confidence, unfairly described previously as a dorky swagger. It’s perhaps borne of his success, as he already has myriad television appearances under his belt including those on BBC staple Have I Got News For You? and more recently Comedy Central’s Roast Battle on which he defeated the very talented Ed Gamble. These two appearances, coupled with his writing for The Guardian serve to highlight his versatility, and his subsequent appeal across demographics.

He’s already an award winning comedian, and has a fine pedigree, given that he was once president of the famed Cambridge Footlights. Yet to hit 30, and with a career trajectory such as his, we can foresee him filling, and satisfying larger venues and audiences for some years yet.

In an August 2017 interview with The Guardian, Wang spoke candidly about his difficulties fitting in in his native Malaysia, and latterly in the UK, “The comedy community is really the only one I’ve truly felt part of” he tells us. And boy are we glad to have him.

Comedy, especially stand-up, has the ability to transcend that which separates us. There is enormous scope to bring people together through laughter, and Wang is at the forefront of the next generation of comedians capable of pointing out society’s ills, while making our bellies ache simultaneously.

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