Don’t cry, or anything, but Andi Osho’s Afroblighty tour concluded last night with a preternaturally polished set at the Bloomsbury Theatre. It was probably the last time a human being will ever pay as little as £15 to see her, so maybe be a little upset if you are especially cheap: the Mock the Week regular’s stock is rising fast, and last night was evidence as to why.
Osho seems within touching distance of being a proper, legitimate, venue-packing laugh-slinger, seemingly custom-made for a London audience. Hailing from Newham, it’s unlikely that the Nigerian-women-pouting-at-each-other-on-a-bendy-bus bit goes down quite so well further afield (we’re looking at you, Scotland) – but her appeal is equally broad.
Put simply, Andi Osho is just very funny. Sometimes the links feel a bit spoken-bits-between-songs-in-a-musical – the thread holding Afroblighty together spins from Osho’s Nigerian roots and her experiences growing up in East London – and the whole affair closes with a spoken-word piece which, to us, felt like a two-minute cringe. But ultimately the laughs-per-hour were an excellent return, and Osho’s quality was evident as she riffed on mysterious gym noises upstairs. It seems like she is a single Channel 4 pilot away from being huge.
Meanwhile (or rather, beforehand) the support act, Nathan Caton, was excellent. After a tentative start – he quizzed seemingly everyone on the front row with “what do you do?” fruitlessly waiting for someone helpful to have a hilarious career – Caton got into his stride, and soon had the not unsubstantial Bloomsbury Theatre audience eating out of his palm. The material was fresh, mixed with some anecdotal stuff about getting into a Your Mum-fight with an A-game rocking 9-year-old, and served as perfect warm-up fodder: when the Edinburgh previews get into full swing, Caton is definitely one to seek out.