September 14, 2015
Danny Bhoy is a Scottish-Indian comedian whom has grown a huge fanbase in Australia, despite still living in Scotland. His UK career has never quite found the same success but he notes that it’d be nice for that to change during this work in progress show at the Soho Theatre.
It’s true that comedy can be extremely cultural; one thing that’s funny in one part of the world will sink like a lead balloon in another. That being said, comedy has always been similar between Australia and the UK, so it’s odd that Danny Bhoy hasn’t quite found his place in the UK roster of panel-show-comedians-on-rotation.
He begins his set by identifying whom in the audience is actually British; sadly for him it’s a mostly-Aussie crowd whom he loves but from whom he can’t seem to escape. “A ticket to Danny Bhoy,” he says, “Is impossible to get hold off in some parts of the world, whilst the further south I go in the UK, the easier it gets.”
This being a work-in-progress show, it would be churlish to criticise the material. It’s fantastic that comedians show how their sets come together; a fantastically good set of comedy doesn’t come around by chance and there’s a fair amount of courage to be found in an established comedians putting themselves on the line and not quite getting the laughs.
The Soho Theatre in London is renowned for its commitment to new writing and there couldn’t be a better venue to road-test your new comedy material. There’s just the right amount of comedy fans packed into the show to judge how well your new jokes work. Some pieces hit brilliantly – a bit on Danny Bhoy having written 15 hours of material compared to Jesus’ 17 minutes has to stand for something, right? Whilst another slice of comedy on singing Away in a Manger at the wrong octave absolutely kills.
It’s not all gold to be had (as one might expect from a work-in-progress) and Danny duly notes that certain lines will never ever receive an airing again. His approach to the show was a good one; mixing old with new but not letting the audience know which piece of his material fit into which category. As such, when all was said and done, the entire audience certainly felt they’d received their money’s worth.
Danny Bhoy is a warm, engaging and charismatic comedian who more than deserves a large UK presence. Here’s hoping the Australian tour that results from these shows will eventually reach British shores to well-earned acclaim.
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By Henry Fosdike