Note: This review is from the 2022 Fringe

Rajiv Karia’s show Gallivant isn’t the most straightforward to digest. You want to like him – in fact, you do like him – because of the persona he presents on stage and his relatability. But ultimately, the content and the jokes aren’t terribly exciting, nor do they present a fresh perspective on familiar topics.

Most of Gallivant is spent discussing food, which fits the theme of hedonism that he discusses in the show. There are some amusing lines about veganism and pescatarians, but nothing groundbreaking as such. He also touches upon identity politics, but that area isn’t explored as fully as it could have been. The title of the show is discussed near the end, and he helps you piece together some of the strains to try to bring them into a cohesive whole. However, in that regard, most of the food-related content feels misplaced in this particular routine. It’s as if two shows were stirred into one pot, where the end dish is not superior to the sum of the ingredients.

The ending gag of a phone call from his father runs too long. Moreover, it feels like a forced manoeuvre to inform the audience how they should be perceiving the show. While it is part of the comedian’s job to guide the emotions of the audience that they entrust the artist with, there is a fine balance to be struck between that gentle nudge and having everything spelt out.

The best jokes don’t always yield the loudest laughs in the moment; they’re the ones you think of hours or days later and quote to your friends. Unfortunately, Karia’s show lacks memorability. His confidence on stage is evident, and he shines best when he indulges in off-the-cuff humour and audience interaction, but the content of Gallivant itself isn’t stimulating. However, what Karia definitely does possess is great stage presence, and it will be interesting to see how his routines evolve in the future.