I found that the problem with the biggest problems is not being able to talk about them. Sometimes the problems aren’t even big- they are just problems but the more we don’t talk, the more we dwell on them and then after a while, even the smallest problems seem huge. On top of that, when we have these problems, and we don’t see anyone else talking about them… our wonderful brains tell us that it’s because we are the only ones going through these problems. How can anyone else relate if they’re not going through them? So we keep it to ourselves even more so.

Emmanuel Sonubi by Steve Ullathorne

Emmanuel Sonubi by Steve Ullathorne

I never used to talk about anything, I’d bottle up everything until it became too much and then I’d explode. Comedy helps me channel that. Finding the funny in everything help me deal with things that I’d normally ignore. I found it hard to laugh and be scared at the same time.

In 2019 I went through heart failure. My heart decided that at the end of my set on the last day of a comedy tour in Dubai that it was going to stop pumping oxygenated blood. A few days later after the doctors had managed to keep me alive, they told me that my stats were at a level where I may need a heart transplant. My first thought was, “how quickly can I learn Spanish?”, I’ve read many stories of people having organ transplants, waking up being able to play the piano and I thought about how fun it would be to wake up, and start speaking Spanish, just to freak everyone out.

This thought was my way of telling myself that I was going to be ok. I’d be fine. Sharing this with an audience when I’m on stage or other dark stories not only helps me deal with these things, but when you see the people’s faces that can relate on a personal level to these stories, you can see them smile like a feeling of relief saying to themselves “I’m not alone”. Make light of the dark. In my experience, I’ve found that it helps to let these things out. I’ve always found that once I own up to my feelings, I can then own those feelings. There are times when I see other comedians that I feel are in positions further ahead of me professionally and I get jealous, but I’d never admit to it, and it would eat me up. Until one day I said to myself, “I’m jealous” and immediately I felt better because it was out. I’d put down the heavy baggage. Say it out loud! That’s what being on stage does for me. It allows me to put down my baggage and escape for half an hour where for that time it’s just me and the audience and nothing else matters. Just a room full of laughter. I like to think that when I see people laughing in a comedy club, it’s not the joke that’s making them laugh. It’s the memory of when they were in a situation like the story they are laughing at, and now they know they are not alone.

Title of Show: Emmanuel Sonubi - Emancipated

Venue: Underbelly Bristo Square – Dairy Room

Time: 6.10pm

Dates: 3rd – 28th August (except 15th)

Previews: 3rd & 4th August

Emmanuel Sonubi was born and raised in North London and this brand-new show looks at many of the elements of his life being raised the only boy and the youngest of six children, (that’s right – 5 OLDER sisters and always surrounded by women) in a Nigerian household which visited Nigeria every year to see family and friends until he was a teenager. We find out that looks can be very deceptive and what has led him to become the person he is today. ‘Emancipated’ also covers his time as a Doorman in some of the scariest clubs in London, his career in Musical Theatre and life as a parent to two children. Through his hilarious storytelling, we look deeper into all the experiences that shaped his personality and opinions today.

Plenty of Emmanuel’s humour comes from his years as a bouncer, where he spent most of his time watching people at their best but also at their worst. Reliving unbelievable anecdotes from times he worked at some the swankiest clubs in the world, looking after celebrities and the nights working at some of the scariest clubs you can think of. Having to adapt to all these scenarios on any given day has really made Sonubi see the world differently.

‘Emancipated’ describes how Emmanuel who after many years of conforming to various environments all of which screaming to be heard, decided to step away from both the left and the right, freeing himself from the stress that comes along with it. There are things that he wants to get off his chest in this show that you won’t hear in anywhere else as Emmanuel is now sick to the back teeth of the society we are becoming, and someone needs to say something. He’s a big man but is he big enough to say what should be said.

Sonubi has only been on the comedy circuit for what feels like five minutes and he’s already garnering himself a reputation as one to watch out for! Having gone from open spot to closing BBC’s ‘Live at the Apollo’ in an incredibly short space of time. His comedy career only started at the end 2015 and has since become regular favourite at the Comedy Store London, the MECCA of the UK comedy circuit. He has also performed at many of the largest clubs and festivals including Altitude Comedy Festival in Austria, The International Comedy Festival in Rotterdam, Comedy Central Live, Camp Bestival, Download, Kendall Calling, Tramlines, Y-Not and will be performing at Glastonbury Festival in 2022 to name a few.

Emmanuel made his TV debut on Comedy Central UK and was recently on The John Bishop Show for ITV1 and in the Stand Up Sketch Show on ITV2. Fact fans: in 2007 Emmanuel played the title role of Daddy Cool in the West End Musical ‘Daddy Cool’

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