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Funmbi Omotayo: Legal Immigrant –The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Matt Forrest

Funmbi Omotayo’s star is certainly in the ascendency: following a spot on The John Bishop Show and a successful stint at last years Edinburgh Fringe festival, he brings his Legal Immigrant stand-up show to The Lowry.

With racial tension and the news littered with stories of refugees, few comics will address this rather delicate and touchy subject matter. However Omotayo doesn’t swerve the issue – he embraces it and has managed to craft a well polished, solid hour of comedy from his experiences.

As a second generation immigrant from Nigeria, who lived in London till he was ten, then relocated to Nigeria returning back to ‘blighty’ some six years ago Omotayo has a great deal of experience to talk about the subjects of race, ignorance and lack of integration.

He takes a look at the changing face of Hackney, East London and how it’s become a ultra hip and up-market, dispensing with the KFC and turning it into a Costa Coffee. He highlights the failed attempts of the Metropolitan Police as it relates to race-relations with great comic affect.

Omotayo also cast his eye over the paedophile scandal and the BBC; the race row between John Terry and Anton Ferdinand, which is a good routine, if not slightly wasted on audience members with little interest in football.

Omotayo is good gag writer: some of the material is slightly London centric which may not travel as he tours the country, but the material is funny and thought provoking at the same time. However the main strength of the show lies in Omotayo: he has a warm, friendly demeanour; he isn’t shouty, preachy or in-your-face like so many comics. It’s a gentle, easy going delivery which certainly is certainly the main strength. With a few more gags and a little less London based material Omotayo could be one of the future stars of the future.

Reviewed: 8 May, 2016

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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