by Laura Ferguson
As ever, Chandrahasen comes onstage in his lovably affable way. He announces himself, comments on announcing himself and brings himself on. I love this about Chandrahasen’s stand-up. He has an innate ability for meta-commentary throughout his show that keeps us laughing, and in this case, gets us laughing before the show has even officially begun.
Straight away we get to experience his masterful use of crowd-work that he effortlessly ties into this own material. Chandrahsen’s lightning reflex of wit keeps the flow smooth as he manages both impromptu quips and rehearsed rhetoric simultaneously. He blends his interactions with us effortlessly into his comedy, succeeding in making us laugh even harder. It is not long before I am making weird facial expressions to diffuse the tight soreness of my cheeks. Who cares though? I’m laughing so much, so I know I don’t.
Chandrahasen’s comedy has a neighbourly camaraderie to it; we sit immersed, as he regales us with the seeming monotony of life, manipulating our viewpoint to make the little moments we take for granted hilarious. I love how Chandrahasen points out the strangeness of social niceties. Showcasing how any micro-interaction with a stranger can be turned into comedic thrills. Whether it is the simple act of waving to someone, clapping or ordering take-aways, Chandrahasen highlights how little moments can brighten your life with humour, even if they are awkward at the time.
A particularly favourite moment of mine happens as Chandrahasen entertains us with material on household chores. He delves into an observation regarding duvets that causes my friend to snort and laugh so hard, Chandrahasen has to ask if she’s OK. The joke was hilarious, but I am further impressed by his easy transition into more crowd-work.
Leading from this, Chandrahasen tells us that he doesn’t like to rehearse, he just says what’s on his mind. I believe this completely since his work blends in and out of structured jokes and talking to the crowd. He finds segues and call-backs naturally, a rare feat for any entertainer and one of the many reasons Chandrahasen is so popular with tonight’s crowd.
Five Fun Facts About Falcons may not be true to its title, though he does throw in falcon facts where he can, but that is not important. Chandrahasen’s precise timing and sleek proficiency of turning a joke means he metamorphs into a bird of comedic prey with us as his willing victims. His eye for spotting a joke opportunity allows him to swoop in, snatching us up in a whirlwind of hilarity, his quick-witted responsiveness killing me every time. As my stomach aches, tears brim and cheeks burn from overuse, Chandrahasen proves himself once again a master of the comedic arts. Five Fun Facts About Falcons made me laugh out into the night, talking of “that time when he…’ and ‘didn’t’ you love this part…’. I am happy, breathless and believe every time I think of the show I will have a pere-grin on my face.
Jerome Chandrahasen’s Five Fun Facts About Falcons plays at Ivy Bar & Cabaret from 17th – 20th of May. You can find tickets here.