reviews and recommendations

Athena Kugblenu: Follow the Leader

Athena Kugblenu is never one to shy away from issues others might think too deep or dry to address, such as politics, class and race. Her well-informed points of view are saved from becoming didactic by her delivery. Athena has the air of that smart kid who sat at the back of the class making wise-cracks and somehow still got straight-As.

Follow the Leader is about the current climate, we have never had such access to so much information and yet… we seem to be making some mistakes. And these mistakes are now recorded for an eternity on the internet so everyone has an accessible backstory in that you can easily find out about anybody without searching too hard.

This doesn’t make a political career all that promising for Athena, although throughout the show you can’t help but think she would make an excellent MP. Being a woman of colour she would not be able to rely on the same allowances someone such as repeated philanderer Boris Johnson gets.

While this is familiar ground for Athena, there is a new reason for her to be concerned with the direction the world is going in. Athena used to do a joke about her mother’s desire for grandchildren, and her teenage desire for Nike Airs*, it appears her mother finally got her those Nike Airs because Athena is currently seven months pregnant. However, she is open about how even this could be used to smear her were she to enter politics. She also has a useful tip on what date to announce your pregnancy to your family.

A smart show that taps into why politics is inaccessible to so many ordinary people, how we all get into predicaments and why Britain needs immigrants. Whilst I take issue with Athena’s take on the noble scone (pronounced… ‘scone’), I would have no issue voting this woman into parliament, other than it would mean she’d have no time for comedy.

*I know nothing about trainers, they all look the same to me, I call them pumps, I am deeply uncool. What I’m saying it… she might not have said Nike Airs.

★★★★

Athena Kugblenu: Follow the Leader here!is at Underbelly, Bristo Square at 17:30 until 26th August. For tickets and more information click

This event has been made possible with the support of Starling Bank, the mobile-only bank that takes your money seriously. Through their campaign #MakeMoneyEqual, Starling is promoting the often difficult conversations about money and giving women a voice.