Ronny Chieng: The Ron Way (2 stars)

This article is from 2013

Ronny Chieng: The Ron Way

Law graduate fails to make the comedy

‘I have the memory of a goldfish,’ explains Ronny Chieng, and he’s not kidding. Throughout an uncoordinated set he frequently loses his train of thought, tripped up by his own asides and faltering audience interaction. He asks the crowd to get him back on track so many times that after a while it becomes audibly wearisome.

The lion’s share of this Malaysian comedian’s focus is on race. He identifies himself as ethnically Chinese and spends significant time examining his place in the world, exhibiting a warm pride in his home nation’s achievements. Yet there’s so much thrown into the mix that most of his anecdotes come across as filler. And he seems genuinely oblivious to the audience’s astonishment when, after mistaking a Korean in the audience for Chinese, he dismissively remarks, ‘close enough.’

Bantering with the crowd is not Chieng's forte and he really needs to focus on the job in hand. He keeps reminding us about his dazzling success as a law graduate, so at least he has something to fall back on.

Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 25 Aug (not 13), 7.50pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).

Ronny Chieng: The Ron Way

  • 2 stars

Soho Theatre & Century Entertainment. Winner Best Newcomer, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2012. Ronny doesn't want to be liked. His bold matter-of-fact stance is a breath of fresh air among comics who just want you to love them. But he'll get you on side with his hilarious determination to show he has the…