Would you pay for laughter?

Purva Grover
Filed on January 17, 2020
Local act Line of Comedy, featuring (L to R) Varun, Tabarak Razvi and KD

The world sure needs more of it

A couple of months ago, I'd shared how comedy events are the new brunches in our city. However, while brunches are (so far) limited to weekends, comic evenings have taken over weekdays, as well. A majority of these shows are currently taking place in pubs and lounges, the idea being that after a long workday, people will walk in for a beverage and hence a guaranteed (even if limited) audience. So, over the chomping of snacks, jokes are shared and acts are tried.
"It's not an ideal environment for an artist to perform," a comedian told me one evening. "It's a little disrespectful, too. You've put yourself out there on the stage and the guests are busy placing an order for a meal or are busy on WhatsApp." I couldn't agree more. After all, if it were a 'proper' show, you'd be asked to put your mobile phones on silent mode. But then, I guess, comic events are supposed to be casual.
Next month, comedian, actor and musician Vir Das will be performing for a fee, and I am certain he will not be happy with you playing with your phone or opening a bag of crisps, as you watch/hear him. Most probably, you'll be picked on by him. Well, that's the nature of stand-ups. But, don't local comedians deserve the same kind of respect?
Support the local fraternity by attending Sketchy Behaviour at the upcoming Sharjah International Fringe Festival, a show produced by Sahar Ali. It will feature Yash Bhardwaj, Tabarak Razvi, Kristina Gaponiuk, Arzoo Malhotra, Jaffar Mahmoud and Rami Boraie, and they claim to derive inspiration from current events. Another local act at the festival, Line of Comedy (LOC), will feature Varun, Tabarak Razvi, and KD; they say they will be offering the funniest in an India-Pakistan confrontation. Let's hope to hear new one-liners and anecdotes at both the shows. Yes, while an artist can't create a new show each time, one can laugh heartily at most jokes only the first time. Plus, you can be a regular at an evening, only when something fresh is on offer. Artists, myself included, do understand the struggle, though. As for the free-to-attends, there are quite a few at Kickers Sports Bar, The Clavichord and Malang Lounge.
If you are wondering how to spend this evening, head to watch Amit Tandon in Masala Sandwich. Amit is known for his family comedy focusing on middle-class upbringing and living. This event too is ticketed. But are we willing to pay only to watch the famous? Unfair, I'd say. But here's to change.

At a glance
. Front Row Events Dubai featuring Amit Tandon. Emirates Theatre, Emirates International School, Jumeirah, January 17, Dh75 onwards
. LOC, Sharjah International Fringe Festival. Jan 24, 25 and 30; Dh30
. Sketchy Behaviour. Sharjah International Fringe Festival, until Feb 1, Dh30/45
. Vir Das - The Loved Tour by Colors Live & ComicOn, Dubai Opera, Feb 8, Dh125 onwards
purva@khaleejtimes.com


 
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