In Romcom, Adam Francis and Dilruk Jayasinha both tackle the broad subject of how to balance the desire for a comedy career with the desire for a normal relationship.
But there the similarity ends. The two comedians have totally different styles, approaches and strengths, which make for a somewhat lopsided evening.
Jayasinha is your traditional, storytelling stand-up. Accountant by day, comedian by night, he's living his dream, even if it's a dream that doesn't pay the bills and occasionally means he has to dodge flying beer cans.
He's likeable, and his delivery is confident. But some of the material could be stronger and the act could be tightened up a bit too. An early segment where he quizzed the audience on their dream jobs when they were young and what they actually did now went too long. I feared he was going to go round every person in the room.
On its own, it would have been a decent act. But for me Jayasinha suffered in comparison to Francis, whose novel take on the comedy/romance dilemma was smarter and far more engaging.
Francis tells the story of Shane, who is considering leaving girlfriend Jane to pursue a career in comedy. Along the way he detours into the challenges of the modern relationship, from the chances of finding 'the one' to how to dump them when you realise 'the one' is actually someone else.
There is nothing new about the topic but Francis' approach is fresh. He uses several methods to make the audience laugh. There are amusing letters, graphics and even a bit of music. Throw in some top-notch puns and the result is highly entertaining.
It rattles along at quite a pace and it seems like it's over too quickly.
When Romcom is good, it is very good, but it is uneven. Finding the right partner in comedy is as important as finding the right partner in love, and I'm not sure Jayasinha and Francis are the perfect match.
2012 Melbourne Fringe
Written and performed by Adam Francis and Dilruk Jayasinha
Venue: Club Voltaire | 14 Raglan St, North Melbourne
Tickets: $15 – $10