Vir Das (4 stars)

This article is from 2016

Vir Das

A strong set in front of a diverse Fringe crowd

Vir Das is likely the biggest star at the Fringe this year. Yet there's a good chance you've never heard of him unless, like most of the audience, you're of South Asian heritage. It's easy to see why millions love him. He's a handsome, witty and confident performer, greeting everyone with a cheery – and very long – song to chivvy us into our seats.

Establishing from the off that his Mumbai accent is 'not the punchline, it's the perspective', he weaves through a series of routines mainly clustering around racial identity and difference. And sex. He loves to do filthy jokes about sex, and his one about the Kama Sutra is a killer. This is a solid, slick and funny show, even if a few cultural and political gags might go over white British heads. His cereal references could do with some localising, mind.

Despite the sex and a few edgy gags about terrorism, this is quite a conservative hour: religion is a good thing, it's fundamentalism that's wrong; political correctness is silly; why can't we all just get along? Nevertheless, what's most impressive is that there can't be many other people able to so successfully work a room packed with such a diverse ethnic mix.

Gilded Balloon at the Museum, until 28 Aug, 9pm, £12 (£11).

Vir Das’ Unbelievable: The Dishonest Indian

  • 4 stars

Soho Theatre and CAA A mix of comedy and dishonesty from his uniquely Indian perspective, Vir’s going to tell you some stories from his life: from growing up in India to studying in America, Indian culture to world politics, losing virginity to cancelling weddings, drug addiction, flying an Air India plane… The thing is…