- Brian Donaldson
- 6 August 2013
This article is from 2013.
Talented newcomer springs a leak
Word is clearly spreading about Romesh Ranganathan. Among the crowd at this particular performance is Josh Widdicombe who is sat beside an e-fag puffing Seann Walsh. In the row down from them is a very impressed-sounding Hardeep Singh Kohli, while that looks an awful lot like Al Murray near the back row. The reputation of this talented newcomer is blossoming and while his debut hour, Rom Com, is a jovial enough affair, there’s a slight lack of true grit to push him over the top.
Ranganathan is keen to tell us how terrible he is at many things. He was a ‘really bad’ maths teacher at the school where he met his wife (a really good teacher), he doesn’t rate his qualities as a dad of two sons (‘they’re mixed race so it’s time for them to pick a side’) and he’s not especially a good vegan having just graduated from vegetarianism but preparing to lapse at any second. His summation: ‘I’m a tubby vegan sociopath’.
What he definitely has going for him is a solid comedy presence with fine turns of phrase and a compelling rhythm when he gets into his stride (he could do with cutting down on the number of times he says ‘prick’ though: not for prudish reasons, just to limit the repetition). None of the ‘celebs’ in the crowd were disruptive; that was left to a bladder-troubled front-row couple who chose not to nip out very discreetly. Ranganathan dealt with the interruption of his own particular flow adeptly, mock-accusing them of choosing the moment he began to discuss Sri Lanka as their cue to make a toilet stop.
Bright things are clearly ahead for Romesh Ranganathan and once the Fringe gets motoring, and more word gets round, he can probably expect further packed houses of both the famous and us mere mortals.
Underbelly, Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 25 Aug, 6.50pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).