Emmanuel Sonubi: Emancipated

By Ron Bingham

Emmanuel Sonubi is many things – a stage actor, an ex-bouncer, a put-upon little brother to five big sisters, father of two and, most of all, a very funny comedian.

Emmanuel is aware that he is a big man standing on a raised stage directly in front of the punters, but he wants to be sure we are not intimidated by him. He’s here to make people happy and help us find the joy in our lives. Being through a traumatic medical experience has changed his world and he wants to change ours but Don’t Panic! This isn’t a seminar and I don’t remember him asking us to find Jesus at any point.

Emancipated centres around a medical scare he had while performing in Dubai in 2019 and the fall out from that. Emmanuel is exploring the expectations put upon him and how he can subvert them in a positive way. It also served up a lot of funny stories about his time as a bouncer at nightclubs, his experiences as a comic on cruise ships and more surprisingly running a hairdressing salon.

There is a little swearing in the show, and Emmanuel does make some disparaging remarks about how dumb and irritating kids can be, but on the whole this is one a family can enjoy, particularly with older kids. The full house certainly loved the show and I got the feeling Emmanuel was equally pleased with the responses from the audience.

Emancipated is on at Underbelly, Bristo Square