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Review: Ikechukwu Ufomadu: Amusements at the Soho Theatre Downstairs

Review by Olivia Ruggiero

It’s incredibly rare to find a genuinely funny comedian in 2024. One that doesn’t rely on crude jokes, foul language, or overloads of sexual innuendoes. Ikechukwu Ufomadu is a genuinely funny comedian. His wit is quick, his joy is boundless, and his impression of John F Kennedy might be a little too accurate! 

Amusements is a show that takes the “every day” and subverts what we know about it – from false magic tricks to thanking the audience (rather than the audience thanking the performer), Ufomadu has the audience in stitches from start to finish. He even manages to make reading the opening passage of Moby Dick funny. You can feel his infectious energy bouncing around the room with every joke. Despite his intensely formal dress (a well-pressed tuxedo), he has the audience automatically at ease – such is his grace as a performer. 

I applaud his writing skill and his comedic timing. His word play is ingenious, the way he builds laughs throughout “bits” and then manages to effortlessly refer to them later and connect the show so flawlessly is truly a skill. His slight awkward moments of stammering seem so honest and only add to his charm and humour. He has the audience eating out the palm of his hand. 

Special mention must go to his “mime” joke – as he takes out a fake cigarette, asks an audience member if they have a light, has the audience member mime lighting it and then casually stops, mid “puff”, and asks, “I’m so sorry, is it ok if I mime in here?” 

He isn’t afraid to even poke fun at himself. He introduces himself to the audience, perfectly enunciating his very long and complicated name and asks the audience to repeat it back – there’s many an awkward chuckle as no-one dares to repeat it. It only adds to his charisma. 

He’s not only clearly talented as a comedian, but shows off his vocal chops in his fabulously jazzy rendition of “ABC – The Alphabet Song” (in which he nails a Louis Armstrong impression), and later in his humorous take on “Do You Hear What I Hear?” 

His smooth tones are something I would happily listen to for hours and I would line up readily to see another one of his comedy shows. 

Ufomadu is honest, witty and effervescently joyful. Amusements is a brilliantly funny show, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back for seconds. I’m so sure I would laugh again and again and again. 

Image Supplied


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