Perhaps it’s his perch high in the balmy Counting House Attic, heat rising from all those other shows down below, but there’s a languorous feel to Sunil Patel’s second solo hour, as if he’s aware that everyone had to climb numerous stairs to get here, so he’s going to take things fairly easy on us for, say, the first 50 minutes or so. That last 10 though: that gets pretty exciting.
Patel hasn’t really got a thrilling story to tell here, as he clearly hasn’t been up to much over the last year or so, so that becomes a theme in itself. And it’s certainly one that many modern folk can relate to: should he be troubled by his lack of innate motivation or boast-worthy achievements? This relatively contented comic’s lack of any genuine angst about it is really quite refreshing in a Fringe that can sometimes feel fuelled by naked ambition.
Now, having ascended all the way to the attic, eschewing flashier shows along the way, some audience members may wish for more than stories about his brief dalliance with a sugar-free diet, or his renegade approach to badminton. But something about Patel’s measured approach is enormously appealing, the comedy-show equivalent of going round to see that mate who you can always rely on not to have done anything that’s going to make you insanely jealous, when your own ego is at a low ebb.
True, there is a gear-shift toward the end which is mildly pulse-enhancing, but even his bucket speech is pretty undemanding. Perhaps he just fears change.