Margaret Cho, comedy review: Both chilling and comic

Cho, never exactly shy and retiring, proved particularly sharp on racism, says Bruce Dessau

Asian-American Margaret Cho is not exactly shy and retiring. Halfway through her latest show she lowered her trousers to reveal a tattoo of a face on each buttock. When she jiggled they smiled. And so did the audience throughout this opinionated, outrageous set.

Cho is clearly happy to be in England, peppering her intro with sympathetic references to the recent attack in Leytonstone. But then again she sounded like she was happy to be anywhere where Donald Trump was not. She blamed him for everything, including her current yeast infection.

She was particularly sharp on racism. Cho recently ruffled feathers by criticising the Absolutely Fabulous movie for casting Scottish Janette Tough as a Japanese designer and was heartfelt on stage about her thoughts on television’s attitude to colour: “White people like to tell Asians how to feel about race because they’re too scared to tell black people.”

Elsewhere she was both chilling and comic about being abused as a child and went into the kind of gynaecological detail about her body that might make her late friend Joan Rivers blush. Crude humour has not been delivered with such panache since Rivers died.

There were a few comments on American news that London crowds might be unfamiliar with, but Cho is so skilled that she added sufficient footnotes for fans to get her drift. This is a show that certainly covers a lot of ground. She even ended with two songs. One was called Fat Pussy. I don’t think it was about obese cats.