Review: Dilruk Jayasinha’s ‘Victorious Lion’ marries sublime storytelling and big laughs
09.04.2021

Review: Dilruk Jayasinha’s ‘Victorious Lion’ marries sublime storytelling and big laughs

WORDS BY ALEXANDER CROWDEN

★★★★1/2

Dilruk Jayasinha is greeted by a sold-out crowd as he walks on stage while The Black Keys’ ‘Lonely Boy’ plays over the PA. He is immediately met by kind reception as he begins to tell us about his past year.

The song he has chosen for his entrance is rather fitting, given he proceeds to tell the crowd he’s been single for around a decade and a half.

In fact, a lot of the show is about how, after so many years of wishing for a relationship, he has finally found happiness as a single guy.

“If you don’t love yourself, why would anyone else want to sign up for this bullshit?” he asks rhetorically.

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He’s all over the apps though, even signing up for Tinder Gold, so you know while being happy single, he’s clearly invested in potentially changing that situation.

However, he feels conflicted about the fact that no one wanted him when he was overweight and not prioritising his mental health, so why should anyone get to have him now he’s made positive changes?

“You can’t go straight to Vista without having had Windows 98 and XP,” he quips, cleverly.

He informs the largely unaware crowd about a dating app called Raya, which only famous and the insanely attractive can use. Two existing members have to vouch for you to be able to join and your application gets manually reviewed. It’s like a hornier version of the MCC waiting list process.

Jayasinha still can’t believe he got approved, but he says his excitement quickly dissipated because he’s so out of his league with all the rich, hot and famous people on it. But he’s just happy because his good mate Tommy Little can’t get on it.

Jayasinha tells the crowd he’s so happy to be performing on the Lower Town Hall stage because it’s a significant one for him. 15 years ago, he watched Wil Anderson perform here and it made him want to be a comedian. Then, five years later, he became an Australia citizen on the same stage.

He went out later that night, got on the piss and lost both the citizenship certificate and the wattle tree he received as a gift, which he claims made him more of an official Aussie than the ceremony ever could.

While admitting to not liking all the challenges COVID-normal has brought with it, he’s a fan of the 75 per cent capacity cap in venues because he doesn’t think he has a big enough profile to sell out the venue, but with the cap in place he managed to.

He also tackles the topic of race really well within his set.

During one period of lockdown, he went down the front of his apartment building to pick up his food order as delivery drivers weren’t allowed in many apartment buildings. As the lift doors opened on this level, a fellow resident said, ‘Sorry mate, Uber Eats drivers aren’t allowed in the building’.

Jayasinha proceeded to tell him he lives in the building, and the guy was so mortified and embarrassed he didn’t even get in the lift. He claimed that moment was so amazing he could’ve dipped his fries in it and dined out on that alone all night.

In that guy’s defence, despite being a racist so-and-so, he did have a KFC bag in one hand and a Macca’s bag in the other, jokes Jayasinha.

Victorious Lion is an hour of tight comedy that infuses some very real issues, private and personal stories and some clever crowd work, all told by a fantastically likeable comic who clearly loves what he does just as much as the audience love him.

Catch Dilruk Jayasinha at Melbourne Town Hall as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival every night excluding Monday until Sunday April 18. Tickets via the MICF website