I had really high hopes for
There is lots to be taken from C’est La Vegan, it’s just you might not be walking away with a bellyache from laughter.
That being said, although the show isn’t full of laugh-out-loud moments, it was most definitely an entertaining way of getting educated about veganism. Chawner offered us bundles of vegan-wrapped information to take away with us, from names of high-profile celebrities to what foods you can and can’t eat. We even got to partake in a mini herbivorous-focussed game show.
All of this is valuable information, if just not funny. Chawner’s best jokes came in the section where he talked about his anorexia. It was a dark style of comedy that suited him well, managing to walk the line between distressing and sanguine with the precision of a tightrope walker.
Chawner delivered too many cheesy lines, far too cheesy in fact... for a vegan show. He then went off at a tangent about living in “over gentrified” Brixton, which did not feel like it followed the natural progression of the story. What was most frustrating was that the best one-liners in the show were credited to Chawner’s friends. From what his housemate said when he found out computers weren’t vegan, to a friend’s comment on the non-vegan five pound note. More effort should have been made so that we can credit the funny bits to himself and not his friends. He was onto something when he began a bit about human and animal milk but it failed to deliver that winning closing line.
Overall there is lots to be taken from C’est La Vegan, it’s just you might not be walking away with a bellyache from laughter. Chawner’s ability to speak humorously about a topic that many people find disinteresting must be encouraged. But if he can elevate the more predictable areas — namely the common questions meat-eaters say to vegans, farting and the food web — weave in more clearly defined jokes about all the quirky things that surround veganism, I believe this show will become a knee-slapper for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.