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Class Browns - Factory Theatre, Sydney Fringe Comedy (NSW)

Presented as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival

Reviewed by Justin Clarke

Factory Theatre, Marrickville

Played Wednesday 6th - Friday 8th September, 2023

For Full Fringe Festival Tickets, visit:


- There is something within this hour of comedy by three newcomers to the stand up scene, once they actually figure what the name of the show is going to be -

The beautiful thing about the Sydney Fringe Festival, especially the Sydney Fringe Comedy, is that if you’ve taken a chance on something new, you never really know what you’re getting into. This is both a beautiful and nerve-wracking experience for the regular audience member. Class Browns is one of those Sydney Fringe Comedy shows that encapsulates this feeling. The three “Good Boys doing comedy without parental permission”, Akila, Riv and Sath, offer up some achingly funny, but also cringe worthy jokes, where some of the best moments come when they’re knowingly attempting to get audiences back on their side. The result? A beautiful and nerve-wracking hour of comedy.

Wearing mismatched school boy attire, Riv’s tie extraordinarily short, the premise of Class Browns promises the three comedians attempting to riff on each other as though they are the class clowns of comedy. If this truly was the premise they were wanting to settle on - as they joked about what other names it could have been, “Brown Town” being one of them before realising it may have gotten some rear end jokes - then it needed much stronger foundations.

Instead, the vibe of the show is instantly thrown at us, these jokes are going to push the boundaries of offensiveness, firstly aimed at each other, before turning the target back on themselves, their Indian and Sri Lankan heritage, and ultimately, white people. With Akila and Sath being well-known on Tik Tok for their “try not to laugh” jokes on Yeah Mad, then you’d be forgiven for being a bit taken aback at first before settling into the overall premise.

This is clearly the trios first foray into a full show, hence why the Sydney Fringe is the perfect platform, as the costumes (a large deodorant can sits on the table, never used or addressed) and name suggest a narrative to connect the theme of the show together. What the show turns out to be is each comedian attempting to find their footing as a solo comedian.

Look, if you were in the crowd on this particular performance, you’d know a lot of the jokes just didn’t land. And personally, I found some of the funniest parts were when the comedians were aware of this and fired loaded jokes to get the audience back on side. At one point, it was even mentioned that a reviewer was in the audience, to which I slowly sunk a little lower in my chair.

However, there is definitely something here! It seemed overall that the jokes that landed the best were when Akila, Riv, or Sath targeted their jokes knowingly at their own heritage before palming off the major brunt onto white society with relevancy and some clever puns. The ones that just didn’t work were the punchlines that could be seen coming a mile off, or when they aimed for offensive for shock purposes, rather than that “offensive but also true” approach.

With further refinement, a clearer narrative or overarching theme, Class Browns has the makings to be something uniquely funny and pull in a regular crowd. Given the sold out house on Friday’s performance, it’s clear that Riv, Sath and Akila have a following that want to see them go further, myself included. But boys, keep the name of the show and please don’t change it to Papadum Town!


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