Dilruk Jayasinha is a comedian that I’ve always wanted to see live.
During the 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Dilruk suffered a heart attack. Thankfully, Dilruk pulled through and is fighting fit. With a return to the festival stage, Dilruk’s new show is aptly named, ‘Heart Stopper’, and there was no way I was going to miss his show.
Walking into the Supper Room at the Melbourne Town Hall, we were greeted by a soundtrack that consisted of heart related song including ‘This Heart Attack’ by Faker. Joining the dots, I was able to deduce what the show would be about. And with the title ‘Heart Stopper’, I am sure the rest of the eager audience came to the same conclusion. This brand new one-hour show is about Dilruk’s heart attack, his recovery, and his subsequent mental health battle that ensued.
Opening with a segment on names, Dilruk asked the audience what their names were, their heritage, and what their names mean. His quick think-on-his-feet style shined through as he interacted with the crowd to provide hilarious moments. Dilruk then went on to explain that whilst he is not Indian, the literal Hindi translation of his name is ‘Dil’ meaning ‘heart’ and ‘ruk’ meaning ‘stop’. Coincidence? Dilruk doesn’t think so!
It wasn’t long before we were into the main topic of the show, his heart attack. Without going into too much detail, about halfway thru last year’s festival, he felt a pinch in his arm that moved to a tight pain in his chest. After visiting a hospital, they discovered he had suffered a mild heart attack and would undergo a procedure to open the artery and fix the blockage. Now, this sounds like pretty serious stuff and Dilruk is 100% aware of this, but how Dilruk delivers the tale is both fascinating and hilarious.
After recovering from this traumatic event, Dilruk goes on to describe his recovery both physically and mentally. With topics so deeply personal, I admired his openness to discuss everything with a room full of strangers. And I mean everything! Right down the manscaping drama that he experienced prior to his surgery. An experience that would be relived towards the end of the show in much more hilarious detail.
You might be thinking to yourself, how the hell can a heart attack be funny? Well, it’s not, but it is the incredible story telling style that Dilruk has that makes this funny and very educational. Not only is the expert delivery hilarious, but it also got me thinking about my own health, both physically and mentally. He is breaking down barriers that many would keep locked up tight and I am sure that many of the audience left his show with a different mindset. Dilruk explained that “Being brave is not hardening up and pushing through it. Being brave is acknowledging that something is wrong and getting the medical assistance that you need.”.
I have always been drawn to the life experience and storytelling style of stand-up comedy, and Dilruk Jayasinha is a master of the genre. I can only imagine what it would be like to have him at the dinner table. The stories he could tell would have me entertained for hours! At the very least, you can be entertained for an entire hour at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to see his show.
If I have learnt anything from Dilruk Jayasinha, it would be two things. Firstly, look after yourself, listen to your body, do not be afraid to seek help and advice. And second, see the artists you like and admire while you can. Don’t put it off because ‘they will be back’ because Dilruk almost did not come back, and I am thankful that he did!
Dilruk Jayasinha’s ‘Heart Stopper’ is on now until the end of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. With only three shows left, this is one story you should not miss!
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