Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 11 January 2020

Interview: Comedian Romesh Ranganathan Chats About His Sussex-Bound New Show The Cynic's Mixtape

Romesh Ranganathan is Straight Outta Crawley, in West Sussex, and on his last nationwide tour, Irrational, he was pondering whether he has an irrational viewpoint on the world or whether that can be attributed to absolutely everyone else.
Credit Rich Hardcastle

This time around, he's putting together The Cynic's Mixtape in which he offers perspectives on the world that are partly incredulous and always hilarious.

"I enjoy puncturing the common point of view," admits Romesh. 

"Sometimes I agree with it but often the common acceptance of certain things is based on facts that I find irritating, so I undermine that and deliberately say things, not to simply be provocative but because I like the reaction to them."

As well as taking his views on tour, Romesh Ranganathan's recent TV credits include a second series of his Sky One sitcom, The Reluctant Landlord, presenting duties on The Ranganation, Judge Romesh, and The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan. 

Away from the small screen, you can read his aforementioned memoir, Straight Outta Crawley, or hear his award-winning podcast, Hip Hop Saved My Life, in which his most recent batch of guests have included rapper Kano, singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka and documentary-maker Louis Theroux. 

And now, the man who was also recently voted by The Guardian as the 17th best comedian of the 21st century, is soon to visit Brighton & Eastbourne with his live show which he explains is divided into two distinct parts. 

"The first is looking at different issues such as the environment, a bit about the Liam Neeson thing, and how people respond on social media to the deaths of celebrities which is something I find quite weird. 

"I remember sitting with a friend when Whitney Houston died and he was agonising about what he was going to post online. 

"I said, 'you don't have to worry about that, it's not your business; the world is not waiting to hear what you're going to say.' People end up making these events about themselves." 


In part two of The Cynic's Mixtape, Romesh zeroes in on more personal material, focussing on the relationship he has with his wife and their three children, and fretting about his own existence. 

Which sounds heavier than it actually is. 

"I got a medical when I turned forty as I started to worry about my own mortality not for myself but in terms of my kids. 

"Before, when I was going to the gym or staying on top of fitness, I'd do it for some sort of vanity reason; I've long since abandoned that and have accepted that I'm never going to look good. 

"So the second half is about my reaction to that medical. My wife and I are very happily married but we've got to that point where we're set in our ways a bit. That's the nub of it." 

Romesh acknowledges that we live in interesting but testing times, with the terrain of stand-up comedy one where every utterance a comedian makes comes under extra scrutiny. 

"I don't feel the need to agree with the person I'm watching to enjoy what they're doing. 

"In his last Netflix special, Dave Chappelle said a lot of stuff that I don't agree with but it doesn't stop me laughing about it. 

"Similarly, I'm a massive fan of Bill Burr and in his most recent show he's pretty full on about feminism and how male feminism isn't a thing. 

"I follow the logic of what he's saying and I do find it funny while not necessarily agreeing with him. 

"We do seem to be living in hyper-reactive times now and people feel more ready to be offended than before. 

"As an audience member myself, I don't have that need to agree with everything the comic is saying." 

Romesh works from the standpoint that there will always be someone who doesn't agree with what he's trying to say in his comedy, but as long as he has worked hard on the material, can justify it from every angle and gets the big laughs, he knows he's on the right road. 

"When I start performing material for the first time, that's when I might offend people or push it too far, because I perhaps haven"t expressed what is definitely a good idea elegantly enough. 

"So you play with it, and when the laugh for something is big enough you know that you've found an acceptable line through that way of thinking. 

"But I never write something and think I can't do that because I don't want to get into trouble for it; I tend to just write what I think. I am guided by the laughs." 

Romesh Ranganathan brings The Cynic's Mixtape to Brighton Dome Concert Hall on Tuesday 24th March 2020, and to Congress Theatre, Eastbourne on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd April 2020. 

by: Mike Cobley & Brian Donaldson




Share    

Credit Aeman Sukkar, Jiksaw

Fresh from a totally sold-out, critically acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Suzi Ruffell heads for Komedia Brighton with another show that proves she's a stand-up rapidly becoming a household name. With Dance Like Everyone's Watching, this self-titled 'natural worrier' is delighted to shout her newfound happiness from the rooftops.

A re-imagining of Hans Christian Andersen's much-loved fable, The Snow Queen, combining poetry, original music and visuals is coming to Brighton and Lewes.

For the last two years The Lovely Eggs have sat back and watched England and the rest of the planet slowly eat itself.
Credit Vic Frankowski

Were you mesmerised by Pink Floyd's first performance of Dark Side of the Moon? Did you sneak into David Bowie's infamous 1973 Ziggy Stardust gig as a teenager? Have you got a special memory of taking part in Brighton Festival children's parade? Or did you ever perform on the Brighton Dome stage?

There's a quiet softness to the Brighton-raised Celeste that makes you feel instantly relaxed by her presence. Her demeanour is unexpected following the recent announcement that she was the winner of the 2020 BRITs Rising Star award, as well as securing first place in the prestigious BBC Sound of 2020 poll.

Following their critically acclaimed adaptation of Malorie Blackman's novel Noughts and Crosses , Pilot Theatre will, at Theatre Royal Brighton, stage Emteaz Hussain's new adaptation of Alex Wheatle's award winning young adult novel – Crongton Knights.

Ruby Tiger Productions – a new theatre company established by award-winning local director  Claire Lewis – makes its debut at the Rialto Theatre, Brighton, this March with a revival of Amelia Bullmore's play Di and Viv and Rose. 

In a packed and highly competitive field, Laura Lexx is rising quickly as one of the country's brightest stand-up stars. She's appeared on the likes of Live At The Apollo on the BBC, The Jason Manford Show on Absolute Radio, and Roast Battle on Comedy Central, while also regularly hosting The Comedy Club on BBC Radio 4 Extra. 

Ahead of Stephen Daldry's seminal production of JB Priestley's classic thriller An Inspector Calls, which heads to Theatre Royal Brighton, next month, The Brighton Magazine features an enlightening chat with Christine Kavanagh, who plays 'Mrs Birling'.

Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman's supernatural spectacular, Ghost Stories, comes to Theatre Royal Brighton, next month, and below the duo tell Matthew Amer about their shared love of horror, giving audiences a trick and a treat, and keeping the secrets of the spooky stage hit. 

Supported by Jools Holland, and run by charity Music for All, the 2020 Learn to Play Day will take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March, and will see music shops, teachers, venues and schools throughout the county partner with leading musical instrument brands to offer thousands of free music lessons.

To mark twenty years of The Sopranos, three of the biggest characters from the seminal hit show will visit the Brighton Centre, for an up close and personal 'In Conversation' style show.
Credit Hugo Glendinning

One of the highlights of Brighton Festival 2020 is set to be Double Murder, a two-part contemporary dance for our times, led by the multi-talented choreographer Hofesh Shechter OBE and performed by ten of his inimitable dancers, accompanied by the sounds of a Shechter-composed score. 

Life After is an album in equal parts about loss as well as a manual to moving on, stronger than before. The band in question, Palace, are set to visit Brighton later this year and below they explain the gestation and recording of their second album.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd