EURASIAN stand-up Phil Wang backs up his Edinburgh Fringe run with his first nationwide tour, presenting his Kinabula show in the sold-out Basement at City Screen, York, on Sunday night at the invitation of the Burning Duck Comedy Club.

"It went pretty well in Edinburgh; I really enjoyed it, which is just as well as it's a slog, 30 shows in a month, which requires unique stamina, but there are worse jobs!," says 27-year-old Phil, who Burning Duck host Al Greaves describes as "king of the comedy nerds".

"The tour show will be longer - the director's cut - and I'm actually going to decide the structure today," Phil said, speaking to The Press the day before the tour's opening night on September 29. "I have to arrange the peaks and troughs, the start and end of each half, for what is my first solo tour.

"It'll be interesting because I've performed at a lot of these towns before but just not on my own," adds Phil, who has done shows with the sketch group Daphne.

"I really like travelling, as all this London air is beginning to hurt my chest, and I've been doing stand-up for coming up to nine years now, but I've always been reluctant to tour, thinking 'who will come?'."

What changed his mind? "I've finally broken 10,000 Twitter followers, so that was my indicator, and I've been getting more tweets from around the country, urging me to 'come to Brecon'," says Phil, who will be coming to London's Soho Theatre too for ten nights, no less, as the tour's finale from late-November.

Phil is a son of the British Empire, "but in a world suddenly intent on building walls and bolstering borders, what is a Commonwealth man to do?", he asks in his new show, Kinabula.

"Kinabula is the name of the mountain in my home town in Malaysia, and a lot of the show is about my growing up there, my parents and the dichotomy of coming from one country, and then moving to another at 16, so it's a show that talks about internationalism and culture," he says.

York Press:

"As an engineer I'm trained in objectivity," says Phil Wang

"I thought about choosing a title with geographical significance and that reflected my timeline, and that made Kinabula a good title."

Phil's move to Britain at 16 was "all sort of planned". "My mum's from the UK, so it was always the plan to move here as I always felt British," he says.

He settled on being a comedian, although stand-up comedy is only just starting out in Malaysia. "I've done two shows in my home town and the first one was terrible, as my whole family came, numbering tens of thousands," he recalls.

"I was nervous because my Malaysian family genuinely don't understand what I do, so this was my first chance to explain it to them and they still didn't understand it! But the second night went a lot better – and no-one from my family was there that night. I've since been back to play Kuala Lumpur and that was great because I could do Malaysia-specific jokes in the show."

In creating Kinabula, Phil says: "I guess I've learnt that I'm actually a very patriotic British person, which I've always had an inkling that I was, and the notion of patriotism in Britain is very pertinent now, especially after Brexit, when some want to live in isolation and others favour co-operation, and I fall into the latter category.

"I think if you have an international upbringing and a multicultural one, you naturally lean towards international unity because you're aware of how small the world is."

The best stand-up comes from the standpoint of objectivity, Phil believes. "You can dissect things more humorously than others can, and [as a Eurasian comic] I'm in a privileged and unique position to do that, as I can be passionate about something but also have a distance from it too," says Phil, who studied engineering.

"As an engineer I'm trained in objectivity and I feel that's the best position to judge things as a comedian, and what's also been useful about getting an engineering degree is that I can hit the right rhythm and I know how to structure a show, though actually my material is quite silly so it's not like a science lecture."

Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Phil Wang at The Basement, City Screen, York, Sunday, 7.30pm. SOLD OUT.

Harrogate Comedy Festival 2017 presents Phil Wang at Harrogate Theatre Studio Theatre on Monday (October 9) at 8pm. Box office: 01423 502116 or

For details of upcoming Burning Duck gigs, go to