Karen Koren: Politics can be a laughing matter

Hasan Minhaj entertains the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Picture: AP
Hasan Minhaj entertains the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Picture: AP
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The UK is going through yet another vote. What is going on? It’s no wonder we are all confused. In these turbulent political times the arts have a duty to reflect the current political climate.

President Trump did not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night, anything to avoid the press.

The host was Hasan Minhaj, correspondent for The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Hasan is appearing at the Gilded Balloon at the Festival in August, tickets went on sale yesterday.

Minhaj handled the hosting job brilliantly. He started by saying that it was an honour to be there but the fact was that no one wanted the job, so it landed to an immigrant to do it.

He continued his dig at Trump by saying: “Now a lot of people in the media say that Donald Trump goes golfing too much, why do you care? Do you want to know what he’s not doing when he’s golfing? Being president! Let the man putt! Keep him distracted! The longer you keep him distracted the longer we’re not at war with North Korea.”

Ayesha Hazarika was on Channel 4 news this week talking about the coming election – she used to be policy advisor to Ed Miliband and Harriet Harman.

Ayesha is also performing at the Gilded Balloon this Festival and her show is called State of the Nation, about what’s happening politically to the UK now. Wonder how much she is going to have to change it between then and now?

Another performer giving her view on politics is Luisa Omielan, whose new show is called The Interlude: Politics for Bitches/What Would Mary Magdalene Do? Luisa believes that she has a right to an opinion on something she knows absolutely nothing about.

Writer and broadcaster Stuart Maconie brings his show Jarrow Road to the Deep South, which retraces the Jarrow Crusade 80 years on from austerity to affluence, from Wearside to Westminster giving an impassioned, enlightening journey through Britain then and now.

Ayesha, Luisa and Stuart will be performing at the Gilded Balloon at the Museum. I can’t wait!

Karen Koren is artistic director of the Gilded Balloon