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REVIEW - Nabil Abdulrashid: The Purple Pill (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023)

Updated: May 26

Nabil Abdulrashid: The Purple Pill

Nabil Abdulrashid: The Purple Pill

August 2023


Making his Edinburgh Fringe debut this year, Nabil Abdulrashid is already an established comedian, and it shows. He's relaxed, confident and seemingly at ease with the packed-out audience.

‘This isn’t my Edinburgh debut.. this is Edinburgh’s Nabil debut and it’s been a long time coming!’ - Nabil

Straight away Nabil let's us know that he's from Croydon via Nigeria, and neither allow for a soft-handed upbringing. He's angry, he's opinionated, and I don't think I disagreed with a single word he said. Preach!!

Nabil's set, The Purple Pill, is a tightly woven hour crammed full of entertaining stories about morals, about being a parent, about being black. But it's really about the challenges and choices everyone makes in life, and it's hilarious.

Nabil makes sure to cover as many topics as he can fit into one hour, but he somehow manages to pull it all back full circle and relate his seemingly random outbursts to earlier topics. It's a clever, well structured show.

Allegedly Nabil received a complaint previously that one of his sets had too many stories. For me, as someone with a terribly short attention span, I want all the stories, give me all the content; I want my money's worth! I love that Nabil's mind is obviously racing and he's bursting to share his thoughts with us. But it in no way felt rushed or chaotic; it's perfectly judged.

Nabil varies the tone, volume and even language he uses throughout his set and I found this added interest and kept the audience on their toes. I'd never heard the word 'moist' used as an insult before, but Nabil used it a few times to great effect. "You can't do that; that's moist!" Everyone instantly new what he meant.

Despite the audience being from a variety of backgrounds, everyone seemed to relate to the topics he raised. He's such a charismatic, likeable performer, that even when he was hurling insults at the audience, everyone was on his side. His rapport with the crowd was great all night, and the room was full of warmth and good vibes to the end. I can see why he's so in demand.


Nabil Abdulrashid. Photo credit: Matt Stronge

Age Recommendation and Content Warnings

16+ | Nudity. This show contains audience participation and strong language.

When and Where?

Pleasance Courtyard, Beside

Dates: 2 - 27 Aug (not 15)

Time: 18:05 (60 mins)

Tickets: Weekdays £11 / £10 | Weekends £13 / £12


About Nabil Abdulrashid

Nabil Abdulrashid. Photo credit: Matt Stronge

Nabil Abdulrashid is an award-winning comedian, writer, presenter and actor. He was a finalist in the 2020 series of Britain’s Got Talent, awarded the ‘Golden Buzzer’ by judge Alesha Dixon for his ‘edgy, charismatic style’. The Sunday Telegraph described his finalists’ performance as ‘urgent, uncompromising and refreshingly radical fare, smartly woven into a gag-packed set’.

Before BGT, Nabil had already established a successful and varied career in UK and international comedy. He wrote, directed, and starred in his own sketch show on Channel U within his first year of performing, triumphed in the Which Religion Is Funniest? competition, and was the youngest ever black stand-up to perform at London’s prestigious Hammersmith Apollo. Nabil was a finalist in the New Act of The Year and Laughing Horse stand-up comedy competitions. He won’s TV Comedian of the Year Award in 2020.

Nabil’s stand-up, incorporating multiple languages and humorous commentary on global politics and multiculturalism, has secured him an international following. He has sold out shows in several countries, including Tanzania, South Africa, Dubai (headlining the Dubai National Opera’s first-ever stand-up show), Holland, Austria, and Belgium. One of Nabil’s BRAP (Black Racist And Proud) tour performances was named one of The Guardian’s 10 Best Comedy Shows of 2020. His most recent show, N.A.B.I.L. (Nobody Actually Believed I’d Last), toured in 2021.

Nabil is a sought-after clean comedian for corporate, interfaith, and community-based events. He’s a respected cultural and social commentator and has appeared on Channel 4, ITV News, Al Jazeera English, and British Muslim TV to discuss topical issues like race, religion, and social justice. He was a key contributor to the BAFTA-winning documentary Muslims Like Us and is a frequent panellist at universities like SOAS, LSE, and UCL.

Nabil’s broadcast career continues to grow, including appearances on Live at the Apollo, The Stand Up Sketch Show, Celebrity MasterChef, Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable, Have I Got News for You, Pointless Celebrities and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

📸 Photos: Matt Stronge


Nabil Abdulrashid: The Purple Pill - review, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023

🎟️ Disclosure: I am an Edinburgh Festival Fringe accredited media reviewer and as such I receive complimentary press tickets in exchange for my honest reviews. My reviews and star ratings are always my honest opinions.

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Lisa in the theate, Scottish theatre blog, reviews, theater, comedy, events.


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