If Dilruk Jayasinha was a cricketer or footballer, you’d be saying that he has hit some pretty good form recently. In 2018, he received a Logie for Most Popular New Talent, has starred on Utopia, and did a stand-up special for Amazon Prime during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. After months out of the game, Jayasinha – like Steve Smith in the 2019 Ashes Series – returned to the playing field in style with Victorious Lion, delivering an engrossing, amusing, and consistently excellent performance.
Despite a slow start to the show, Jayasinha grew quickly into his set. Immediately, it is clear that he has his own unique approach to the art of comedy that is especially upbeat. Jayasinha is grateful for the mere fact that the show could go ahead, in a ‘comedy festival that wasn’t supposed to happen’. He also refuses to berate people that come in late, and his exchanges with the crowd are entirely good-natured. Not once does he pressure anyone to reveal personal information for the benefit of a few laughs. This is something of a rarity among comedians, and Jayasinha can be proud of the respect he shows his fans.
Though, that doesn’t mean Jayasinha’s comedy is ‘clean’ in the Seinfeldian sense. In fact, it’s not clean or family-friendly at all, even if his personality is. Much of the show – including its best parts of it – deals with Jayasinha’s longstanding status as a single man, and with that comes a multitude of jokes of a personal nature. Every couple of minutes one of his stories, lines or jokes would provoke uproarious laughter – a strike-rate most comedians would be incredibly happy with. Interweaved with these jokes is a narrative about Jayasinha’s life: what it’s like to live overseas from one’s family, his drive to become a comedian, and how he coped with the months-long lockdowns of 2020.
Jayasinha has already cultivated a core of fans through his television appearances, and, most certainly, by delivering high-quality stand-up performances. Victorious Lion fits that latter category, and might just well be one of the best shows in the 2021 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. If he continues to churn out such hilarious and entertaining sets, then Jayasinha will find himself in the upper echelons of Australian comedy. It may only be a matter of time.
Victorious Lion is showing at the Melbourne Town Hall until 18 April. Tickets are available here:
Scotland’s capital city is bursting at the seams with talented artists as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe begins this week. As is usual many Australian acts are heading up to “sunny” Edinburgh to show the world what they’ve got. If you’re in town, be sure to check out some of these fabulous funny folk listed below.
We’ve compiled a list of all the acts we could find, along with links to the reviews of those shows that our Squirrel writers have seen at previous festivals. As usual we give the disclaimer that Festival shows are ever evolving beasts so the show that we saw could be rather different to current iteration.
If we’ve missed anyone, feel free to drop us a line (or contact us on social media)…
The first thing I notice when Dilruk Jayasinha comes out on stage is OMG he looks ½ the man he was when I saw last years MICF show! It’s pretty impressive. He made a bet with a mate, comedian Ben Lomas, to see who could get to under 100 kilos first and this show is about the journey Dil’s been on since.
If you’ve come hoping for diet tips, this is not the show. Dilruk does not break down how he changed his diet in any great detail or what he considers healthy eating to be. Dil is unpacking all the things that led to him being overweight and the emotional roadblocks along the way. His first port of call when losing weight was not a weightloss company, but therapy and the show feels a bit like an extension of getting all of that out, but in a way that comedians do, through comedy.
Dilruk brings his big eccentric family into the show, as he always does, here with memories of food, such as when Grandma would slip him treats with “Don’t tell your Mum” (with my Nana it was Scottish caramels slipped under my pillow, with Dil it was bowls of fried chicken fat). There was also childhood bullying to endure, and Dil learnt to turn it around, so they were laughing with, rather than at, him which is often the case with budding comedians.
As well as performing his show Dilruk deals with some audience disruption beautifully, stopping the show, finding out the names of all involved and making it part of the show. Thankfully it paid off beautifully and the crowd went wild. These things help make the audience feel like they came on a special night, and it was.
Dil is one of the comedians I’ve seen right through from nervous beginnings to that night when I see a comedian commanding a large room and think, “That’s it – They are There”. Dilruk is definitely one of the top standup comedians in the country right now and this is the best festival show I’ve seen him do.
To learn more about Dilruk’s journey you can listen to the podcast he made with his weightloss buddy. Fitbet.
Or listen to Dilruk’s insightful interview with Wil Anderson on Wilosophy
Dilruk Jayasinha Cheat Day(s) is on at the Victoria Hotel til April 21 for more info check the MICF website:
It’s not long now until the world’s largest fringe arts festival begins in warmer climes and again a massive contingent of Australians and expats are headed to The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Many have traveled the Australian festival circuit and have been whipped into shape for international audiences. Some have been previously reviewed by Squirrel but remember they will have been further polished and may have been revised and reworked.
Last year Australian, Hannah Gadsby won Best Comedy at the Fringe, she’s had to cancel her Edinburgh Fringe run this year but there’s a lot more amazing comedy talent coming up from down under. If you are travelling anywhere near Edinburgh this August, have a look at the following list of shows and consider going to see an Australian act.
We were actually quiet surprised when our little show had quiet a successful world premiere at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. We had wonderful reviews, great feedback and really supportive audiences. So it seemed only natural to bring the show back for Melbourne Fringe…and at The Butterfly Club, one of Melbourne’s best fringe theatre and cabaret venues.
2. It has puppets!
If you missed us at MICF The Mighty Little Puppet Show has puppets in it…but these puppets are like nothing you’ve seen before.
What’s unique about our puppets is that they are custom-built, by the extremely talented people at The Puppet Workshop.
Our puppets (called The Ritas) are brightly coloured and blank-faced, we’ve also had large selection of eyes & noses build that can be attached and removed to The Ritas whenever we want.
Meaning we can create new and interesting puppet characters for every performance.
3. It is an improvised show!
Yup…every show will be improvised so no two shows will be the same. The Ritas were specifically created because The Mighty Little Puppet Show is completely improvised.
We wanted our puppets have the potential to be just as spontaneous as the scenes they will be in.
4. We have a NEW stellar line-up of Special Guest Stars!
We were fortunate to have some of Melbourne’s most respected, popular & experienced performers guest star with the Ritas for our Comedy Festival season.
This Fringe is no different, we have assembled a stellar line-up of stars from the Melbourne Comedy scene, who are ready to raise hell with our puppet crew.
Our guests include:
-Lliam Amor, Elly Squire, Ross Daniels, Damian Callinan, Dilruk Jayasinha and Lauren Bok.
5.We have NEW members to our amazing troupe of impro-puppeteers!
We are very excited to welcome three new cast members to this Fringe season.
-Hallie Goodman (an puppeteer & improviser from New York how has worked with The Improv Conspiracy).
-Amanda Knights (A regular performer with Impro Melbourne & First Draft Theatre).
-Danny Alder (An actor/improviser who was seen in Eastenders & was a regular performer with impro/comedy troupe The Crew).
They will be joining our senior Mighty Little troupe members who will be returning for Fringe duties: Scott McAteer, Caitlin Yolland, Petra Elliott & Rob Lloyd.
The Mighty Little Puppet Show is at The Butterfly Club from Monday Sept 19 to 25 – 10pm. No show Friday.
It’s nearly time for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival!!!
Our tails are waggling excitedly as we plan our festival and the shows we will be seeing and reviewing for you. It’s a big 30th Anniversary and we’ll be enjoying a lot of the wonderful birthday events and exhibitions too.
As always to help you make decisions about which shows you should see at the festival we have a list for you of all the shows we have already reviewed so you can check them out.
Don’t forget to take a punt on someone you’ve never heard of, they might change your world and you, for making up an awesome audience, theirs.
Down the bottom of this article, I’ve listed some shows that have been cancelled.
Meanwhile here are some reviews we prepared earlier:
Christopher Welldon Christopher Doesn’t Live Here Anymore