Fringe Review Diary – Day 4 – Chat Masala with Hardeep Singh Kohli

Day 4 – 8th August 2011

If anyone is following this diary with a critical eye, you may have noticed there was nothing written for day 3 of my trip to Edinbrugh. This was because we had a chill out day, which gave me time to write some reviews. So instead here’s a picture of a blantant tourist trap that plays on the wave of aching hearts from 1997.

Diana Memorial Tartan

Chat Masala with Hardeep Singh Kohli – 14:00hrs – Gilded Balloon (Debating Room)


The Gilded Balloon venue consists of a number of areas as most of them do. The area we were in took at climb up one of the Gilded Balloon’s towers to get to. Although according to an Edinburgh Festival site there is disabled access to it also.

This was the biggest venue me and the Girl had been too yet. This was the first of two days of the buy one ticket get one free deal that happens on the 8th and 9th of August. This was one of the reasons that the debating hall was at full mass with a capacity of 360 (there’s a pun in that sentence somewhere).


We had gone along to this show with the Girl’s sister and boyfriend as they had come up for a long weekend to the Fringe and we wanted to watch a show together. This was one of the shows they had chosen, and somehow this was the show we had chosen to go to as a foursome.

The show began with Hardeep Sing Kohli chatting to the crowd and doing some anecdotal stand up. I found this part funnier that I thought it would be as I’d always rated Hardeep as a fairly average comedian.

The show then moved on to what can only be described as a live daytime television cookery show with special guests plugging their shows at the fringe…except it wasn’t being filmed.

Hardeep was cooking a curry, shocking us with the news that nine chilli peppers were going into it. I was a little less shocked when the thought occurred that this was a curry was going to feed many of the audience, therefore bringing down both the heat level on the curry and the jovial statement.

The first guest on was Canadian comedian Phil Nichol, who amongst some fairly average jokey banter with Hardeep and some rather scarily manic interaction with the audience , said that he had been doing the fringe for 11 years now. 11 years! Now maybe Phil Nichol’s notoriety has somehow completely passed me by, but when he first came on stage, the best I could do was think, yeah that name rings sort of rings a bell. I’m just saying that if you’ve been in the business as long as he has, and won the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2006, then shouldn’t he should be more well-known on telly or radio. Hey, maybe it’s my ignorance or maybe he’s just massive in North America. For all I know he could just be happy the way he his and doesn’t want to chase the fame train. But then ask yourself, why was he on Chat Masala plugging his show with, at times, nervous frenzy. Comment on this please.

Phil and Hardeep chewing the fat

Next on was mind reader magician comic Chris Cox, who’s act is a comic slant on mind reading, in that he is honest enough the tell you can’t really read minds. This chap was actually very entertaining and I may well go to his show if I get a chance.

Last on was a cabaret singer from New York City called Liz Merendino who sang a straight song while Hardeep finished off preparing the curry. She was a good singer but by no means amazing. I don’t really go in for much cabaret singing, so in fairness I don’t have much basis of comparison. All I know is I preferred the singing and the songs in Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone.

The curry was then served to about one tenth of the hall, of which I was in the 90% who didn’t get any, so I can’t tell you what it was like.

TOP TIP: If you do fancy going to this show and want to taste the curry, I recommend you sit in either the first two rows or near the aisles towards the front.

RATING: 5 out of 10

Overall I found the show distinctly average, but it is a good way to get to know a bit more about some the guests and the shows they are in at the Fringe. Check out the Fringe guest schedule for ‘Chat Masala’ below or go to

Click on picture to enlarge

Next Review Post: WitTank

About residentweebler
Short Story Writer and Opinionated observer. Visit my blog for all this and more.

One Response to Fringe Review Diary – Day 4 – Chat Masala with Hardeep Singh Kohli

  1. Slowlycreepingdeath says:

    Enjoying your reviews of the festival. Makes me feel as though I want to go! Keep up the good work. Before I read this I did think Hardeep Singh Kohli was a Labour MP. Dunno why!

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