“I never know how to enter in these things so thought I’d just stroll in like it’s my living room…” Sunil Patel states plainly, appearing in The Pleasance’s first bunker, seemingly out of nowhere. This sets the tone seamlessly for the rest of deadpan and casual performance. Interactive and accommodating, it really felt like we were in his living room, albeit after a few drinks.
Patel holds himself with a calm confidence, gesturing and breaking his poker-face every now and then to grin knowingly at us all. Some off-book banter in the first half of his set proved that comic timing is intrinsic to his pattern of speech.
It was a shame that the set seemed to lull slightly towards the 40 minute mark. A joke about stalking led to a good callback eventually, but it took us a while to get there and I personally am not entirely convinced it was worth the sacrifice of our attention and connection.
The fact that the show ended eight minutes early suggests that Patel’s scripting was somewhat rushed towards completion, which is a shame because the opening material was very strong indeed.
Some tidying up and time would sort this all right out. Grab a beer and listen in if you want a relaxing evening of anecdotal quips.