5 October, The Eastbourne, Hastings
Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017
Stand-up comedy can be a tense traction of interplay between audience and raconteur, even at its best. And for Sanjay Parbhu’s Let’s See What Happens show this was amplified by a slow stream of punters entering in late, along with his self-admitted and ruffled nervous disposition. The show goes on.
From the opening air guitar with the mic stand whilst Sanjay’s glasses repetitively fly off, we are let in on his tenor. Sanjay tags us through a range of his incidental life moments; these tended to fluster along with the occasional hit of excellent word play and real convergence of banter finding a meeting point.
Situated in the newly devised ‘Green Room’ with red brick walls and exposed wooden warehouse rafters, it’s a cool room to perform and listen in. There are lanterns with lit candles on the round tables. The room however is absolutely freezing. For a good laugh, a bit of ambient warmth is always appreciated. In fact, the cold temperature does little for the moments of lag in Sanjay’s delivery, which at times is further exposing of the thin crowd and space.
Plenty of Sanjay’s performance revolved around reasonable truth-telling about his own esteem and confidence, his natural tendency for geek-ness, like spending $2,000 building a computer, and his awkwardness with girls and dating – “What do they do, what do they eat?” – all the while priming us with tidbits of how he met his current girlfriend. Of course, by the end of the show, he’d rounded this all up letting us know that over the last four years there had been plenty of resolution. At times, this quite domestic of humours reflected a good, yet contained life; the funny parts weren’t always delivered.
There’s a bravery in getting up on stage performing stand-up – Sanjay’s certainly got that. For some audience members, his performance had them laughing boldly. I’d like to see him live wider, gather a bit more resonance, so the stories he has have a little more consistent zany zip in them for us to laugh more fully along with.
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