It’s stand up comedy. So, obviously, it is racist, sexist and every other –ist in the world. If you are ready to deal with it, it is a laughter riot.
The show begins with Monty Python’s always look on the bright side of life (which seemed quite like the actors were still doing their make up and they had to kill time). Immediately after, they sing a pettairap version of we will rock you. At the end of that is an introduction to the play. Evam‘s Urban Turban is the (funny) story of four people narrated in their own words by themselves, of course.
First up is @Aravind_SA: Assistant Director, two-time visa reject, loud mouth from down south. He has three stories. His story as an assistant director talking in Tamil to pigeons, his love for Leeds United and his humiliation at the hands of the UK Home Office and of course a childhood love story. He has an adorable Chennai accent and an uncanny ability to enact his sorry state of affairs in the most funny of ways. He’s got some killer lines and better expressions! Here, the joke is on him.
Next comes this boy from Coimbatore! It’s a shame I don’t remember his name. Or perhaps he didn’t say it clear enough. In his story, the joke is on us. He is the regionalist (if there is such a word) comedian. His jokes are on Coimbatore and on Bangalore. The dance at the pub was my favourite out of the whole gig. He has some great stories about squatting in a western toilet and dancing at a Chennai pub.
Madhuri’s stories were the most drab of them all. She begins with her self-proclaimed embarrassing story of being dumped by the boyfriend she met on bharatmatrimony. She begins very slow, stand still most of the show and the best joke in her whole gig is that her ex-boyfriend’s name was Sam, short for Nikhil. As a phoren-return to Chennai, I was expecting racist, sexist rib ticking comedy. Good or bad that didn’t happen, she had finished before we knew.
The last gig was expectedly the best of them all. Yudi aka fit-in-the-longest-name-you-know had the funniest story. From a Nepali boy in Chennai, this is a completely racist, sexist, regionalist, crack-a-joke-at-anything-that-moves gig! Every line was hilarious, he interacted the most with the audience and even called a spectator a “lucky b@stard”. The best of his work was the way he brought all other standups together in his gig. He gave a meaning to why these people were in the same show. Stunner boy who’s T-Shirt said ‘I Love CHEnnai’.
If you notice, they were all Chennai people making a joke about the city exuding Chennai-ness.
That said, it was a hilarious show. Tamil film directors, over-acting heroes, visa-seekers, Leeds United fans, schoolboy lovers, Coimbatore cool kids in ice-cream parlous, hostels and roommates, American desis and their moms, l3sbian Indian girls in the US, Gurkhas, Tam Bhrams, auto-drivers and many other vibrant characters brought together in a beautiful bouquet of experiences.
If you dare to laugh at yourself, this one is for you!
Disclaimer: I was invited to review the play and that means I got free “VIP” passes to watch this one (many thanks to @manuscrypts).