Sunil Patel – Titan

Titan is an unusual show to write up. I distinctly, very distinctly, remember enjoying it. I know I laughed; I heard it. I laughed often, but find myself struggling to recall why. Maybe it’s Patel’s disarmingly reserved presence that overshadows a lot of the content, or maybe it’s the leisurely rambling that makes up much of the 50-or-so minutes. None of that is to be disparaging, Titan delivers laughs in buckets, but it’s a case of delivery trumping writing. You get the sense that he’s just sort of good at this.

Patel’s relaxed delivery occasionally dips below acceptable levels; there’s a few slow moments dotted throughout, but for the most part he makes it work for him.

Quietly likeable, at his best, he hits this unusual rhythm where the funniest part of a bit is his sardonic addendum to it. There’s very few jokes, and almost as few observations. Given that most stand-up is either joking or observing, it’s impressive that Patel manages to wring so much mirth out of essentially just serenely picking apart life. Titan is a quietly philosophical sort of show. Ostensibly it’s about badminton, but turns into more of a gentle dress-down of societal foibles, filled with light-hearted meditations on legacy and the future.

Despite the sections where it feels like treading water rather than bathing, Titan delivers some of the most relaxed laughs I’ve ever had. Self-deprecating and self-aggrandising at just the right moments, Patel is comfortable on the stage in a way that puts you in mind of sleepy cat, and I hope this second Fringe run isn’t his last. In any case, he’s not in any hurry.

★★★★

Keiran Burnett