Review by Flora Norton
Dilruk Jayasinha is undoubtedly a master of his trade and his show at Melbourne Town Hall this year is an absurdly funny and deeply immersive experience, the kind which leaves your cheeks aching well after the laughs have subsided. Jayasinha’s endearing and enthusiastic delivery, in tandem with his witty, relatable, and often, inappropriate humour makes his show a standout in this year’s festival.
Unlike many of his peers, Jayasinha steers clear of politics and world events, preferring instead to muse on the perils and pleasures of everyday life. It is wonderfully refreshing to be reminded that comedy can exist outside of the coronavirus and for those tiring of isolation jokes and corona puns, Victorious Lion at the Melbourne Town Hall could well be the show for you.
Jayasinha merrily discusses his self-diagnosed character flaws, his turbulent career, and his relationships (or lack thereof), laughing along with the audience at his own absurd experiences which, despite his status, are all frighteningly relatable.
Particularly memorable is Jayasinha’s engagement with the audience, which is continuous, effortless and testament to his uncanny ability to turn even the most mundane audience response into a witty anecdote or comical observation. Even when faced with a thirteen-year-old audience member, Jayasinha remains steadfast and straight-faced, telling him to take notes as he re-enacts the post-coital trials of condom disposal and sending the crowd into a fit of laughter, with the conspicuous exception of the boy’s parents.
Evidently, Jayasinha has a knack for making his audience feel comfortable, and even when his jokes turn a little darker, the familiar sharp intake of breath that so often permeates a comedy venue is immediately dispelled by his beaming smile, daring us not to laugh. Touching on the racial prejudice and stereotyping that he has experienced, Jayasinha lets us know that it’s okay be amused, he has after all written the set to be funny, but simultaneously sends a powerful message about the frustrating and often degrading way in which first-generation immigrants can sometimes be treated.
Self-deprecating, friendly, and brimming with energy, Jayasinha leaves the stage with the audience rooting for him, and despite of our initial disgust, hoping that his membership on ‘Rare,’ the exclusive dating app for the famous and good looking, is nothing but fruitful.
Victorious Lion may well be one of the most uplifting and enjoyable sets at this year’s festival and Dilruk Jayasinha’s unique and loveable personal will surely see him continue to entertain us for years to come.