This intriguingly titled piece is from Bristolian performer Pariah Khan, real name Hari Ramakrishnan.
He certainly doesn’t seem to be any kind of pariah, as the full house at the Rondo tonight proves.
A sly and very witty take on British versus Indian culture, during which both get their ridiculousnesses pointed out with unerring accuracy in this meticulously constructed performance, which is at times almost like a dance.
Khan’s style is highly original; the premise here being to treat Britain as an exotic foreign country for an Indian to visit as a tourist – and maybe have some sort of ‘spiritual awakening’, like the Beatles and other hippies supposedly did when going to India.
This leads to fun-poking at all sorts of delicious absurdities; the strangeness of the idea of Yorkshire Tea, for instance, being a particularly egregious one.
But this is not ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ revived. His approach is far more subtle and intellectually rigorous.
He is comfortable in his own sense of timing, and though there are slight longueurs during his frequent changes of shirt, humming pop tunes as he does so – and a strikingly long one at one point, where a John Cage-length silence turns out to make a witty point about NHS waiting rooms – none of this loses his audience’s attention. Thoughtful, incisive and very, very funny.
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Reviewer: John Christopher Wood | Star Rating: ****
An Indian Abroad was written and performed by Pariah Khan, and directed by Eduardo Gama.
It was performed at the Rondo Theatre in Bath on Wednesday, 6th February 2019.