AFTER his eventful, and thankfully, documented trip to Sri Lanka, bearded comedian Romesh Ranganathan is back on the road. Quays News entertainment reporter Andrew Collinson went to watch his latest show, ‘Irrational’…
For a comedian to complain about everyday life is nothing new, but never has a comedian spat so much venom at life’s mundane annoyances, be it towards cinema popcorn prices or Android phone users.
This set is not just an angry rant however, it is a thoroughly well-crafted show in which Ranganathan comes across as slightly more mature; not like a bad cheese, more like a fine wine.
Unbelievable night watching @RomeshRanga in Manchester with the missus. Such a lad, jokes are on point!! She does treat me well (Not Ramesh)
— Bibby (@WeveGotBibinho) September 19, 2016
As a self-proclaimed family man, Ranganathan speaks of his love for his children.
He mentioned how he felt that he had mastered parenting after the first one appeared to be a “legend,” then immediately admitted how wrong he was after his second, “Feral,” child arrived.
His appreciation for his wife is obvious, not just because she looks after the children while he is on tour, but for the fact she is simply with him, even though she advised him to wear a T-shirt when he took the kids swimming to conceal his middle age spread.
Ranganathan’s rants move the set along at a perfect pace.
Of course, as the name of the tour suggests, he is a man who is easily wound up.
How someone can seamlessly move a rant from Starbucks, to trips to Wagamama, onto Madonna and back to Starbucks is anybody’s guess, but nevertheless it is a talent, and perhaps more importantly, hugely entertaining.
At this point the audience were eating out of his hand, and were treated to a piece of Ranganathan’s advice on how to take down the West, which he claimed ISIS could learn from.
They should forget targeting trains and planes, and concentrate on just, “P****** us all off,” as it would be much more irritating if terrorists just stopped in front of you in the street.
Anybody who is a fan of Wagamama’s worst enemy will know about his BBC documentary ‘Asian Provocateur’, in which he went to Sri Lanka to learn about his heritage, which he freely admitted during this gig he knew very little about, much to his mother’s dismay, who calls him a lazy, round, “Coconut.”
very funny a must see show, especially if his mum comes along ????
— Antony Nibloe (@antonynibloe) September 19, 2016
“Sri Lankans aren’t known for being subtle, she will openly call me this s*** in front of friends and family.”
Hilariously, Ranganathan revealed ‘Romesh’ is actually his middle name, and that in fact his first name is Jonathan – his ‘secret weapon’ – which his parents bestowed upon him in the hope employers and universities wouldn’t discriminate against him.
However, they completely disregarded the fact that at some point he would come face to face with said potential employer or university, and assume they would never see his less-than-traditional British surname.
The Crawley comic’s great strength is that he lets people think he’s just a comic who complains about everything and that’s his limit.
But as he showed with his recurring Starbucks joke – which he claimed he digressed a little – his choice of things to complain about is very particular.
His honesty is incredibly entertaining, but overall, refreshing.
@RomeshRanga so good tonight! Laughed from start to finish. We've come from the midlands to watch and were not disappointed. Thanks!
— Jon Constable (@universityjon) September 19, 2016
The last section of his show saw standards slip somewhat.
However, as he said himself, “Encores aren’t my thing.”
There seemed to be just a bit too much rambling with his crowd Q&A, but perhaps this is testament to how high he set the bar for the other 95 per cent of his set.
As a man who has always been hilariously dry, he has improved his solo work no end, and who knows, middle-age may just be the best thing to ever happen to Romesh Ranganathan.
By Andrew Collinson