Sunil Patel: White Knight | Edinburgh Fringe review by Jack Boyles
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Sunil Patel: White Knight

Edinburgh Fringe review by Jack Boyles

There’s no grand entrance for Sunil Patel. He walks on stage with the music still playing, says ‘hello’, and with one hand in his pocket patrols the U-shaped seating making sure everyone has a good view.

Casual is the best adjective for this show as he performs with a relaxed confidence that puts the audience at ease. However, he also exudes a powerful, unspoken presence that says if he wanted to leave, he would. This is what makes him so alluring.

In White Knight, Patel talks about race from a perspective of being one of the few Indian families in his town, seeing racism everywhere yet never personally aimed at him.

He has an anecdotal style, told with flair, letting the audience in a little, but also keeping a distance, so it’s not intensely personal. 
Stewart Lee is an obvious influence. For example, a make-believe story towards the end has that repetition of specific phrases within the satirical tale that escalates towards a callback.

However, there is enough of Patel within the story and his set to understand it’s not a rip-off, just a similar technique. Patel is a craftsman in the making with enough of his own voice that doesn’t make him a clone. 

A confidence to control even a small crowd takes a skilled comedian. Patel never lets the modest audience faze him, even taking them to such peaks of laughter that at one point he can sit on an empty chair to let them settle. He’s certainly a comedian worth keeping an eye on.

Review date: 11 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Jack Boyles
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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