Review: Romesh Ranganathan, Corn Exchange, Ipswich, Friday, November 4

Romesh Ranganathan

Romesh Ranganathan - Credit: PA

Since leaving teaching and becoming a professional comedian just a few years ago, Romesh Ranganathan has quickly established a career as one of the country’s leading comics.

From his brilliant panel show appearances and chat show sofa slots to his own Asian Provocateur BBC series, the 38-year-old former maths teacher has quickly found himself in a position where he can sell out a venue the size of the Ipswich Corn Exchange with relative ease - rapidly rising up the comedic rankings.

And on Friday night it was apparent early on quite why so many people had turned out. Not often will a comic leave you in hysterics right from the off, and leave you that way for a good half hour. Don’t get me wrong, this was a full set packed with laughs, great gags and audience interaction, but I (and evidently many others) hadn’t laughed so hard as I did in that first section for a very long time.

From deriding a young lad in the front row for going to the gig with his mum to analysing how annoying he finds his own middle child, it was a relentless barrage of supremely scripted jokes and off-the-cuff comedy.

The range of topics covered was exhaustive - parenthood, parents themselves, coffee shops etiquette, mobile phones, his real name (Jonathan - who knew, without resorting to a Wikipedia search?), how much of a ‘coconut’ he is to his relatives, rap music and much more.

But Romesh never rambles - quite the opposite. The method of inverting a joke and returning to a topic some minutes later is one he’s got nailed, with a segment on his hatred for rapper Iggy Azalea only really having an impact when her hit Fancy was used as his exit track, without reference. Romesh is a seriously funny guy - leaving audiences never quite sure how real his deadpan rage is.

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