Anil Desai...

Anil Desai is... a very, very talented individual. Desai has a knack for spot-on impressions of celebrities ranging from Robert De Niro to Homer Simpson. His vocal bag of tricks allows for an endless supply of amusing riffs and pointed satire on modern celebrity culture. So why then does Desai’s third show at the Fringe fall slightly flat? Well, despite all those wonderful impressions, Desai has decided this year to barely use them. Desai spends more time focusing on three of his own characters who appear within the show: Rajesh Bollywood, Candice the fluffer girl, and the camp Australian, Jayden Campfire. Sadly these three characters will produce more slight giggles than belly laughs. While Desai completely transforms into the characters with a sharp focus on magnifying each of their peculiar mannerisms there is a lack of really good jokes from their stints. Campfire’s moment is particularly lacking of humour and feels rather dated in its depiction of a stereotypical homosexual characterisation. There is a sense that Desai is experimenting here in an attempt to branch out from solely focusing on the celebrity impressions he is best known for. As the hour rolls along our likeable host builds up a nice rapport with his audience and even acknowledges when parts of the show are unsuccessful. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if Desai is constantly tweaking this show as the month continues. Whilst Desai should be commended for a brave step away from what he does best, hopefully he accepts that when he does have the audience wiping the tears from their eyes it is whenever he is performing the old favourites De Niro, Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, Jeff Goldblum and especially, Tom Cruise. Hopefully next year this comedian will be fully aware of who Anil Desai really is... or at least who the audience wants him to be.

Reviews by Stewart McLaren

Online at (with Traverse Theatre)

City Of the Blind

Northern Stage at King's Hall

Milk Presents: Self Service

Scottish Storytelling Centre

Haggis Haggis Haggis

Institut français d'Ecosse


Traverse Theatre



The Blurb

An impressionist, comedian, actor who has something brand new for you... get your laugh on… you won’t wanna miss this! 'A master ... talent is here in spades ... the ultimate cabaret act' **** (FreshAir FM).