This year, Evam Standup Tamasha is going bigger with their Laugh OK Please showcase. Titled ‘Fringe’, they plan to do simultaneous shows in Chennai, Bengaluru and Dubai. With 46 comedians in the mix—over two weekends and 16 shows—you’d think they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. But founder-comic Karthik Kumar assures us that “though it will be mini chaos, we will make sure that the audience gets to watch a great cross-section of artistes from across the country”. While Kumar will be presenting the final edition of #PokeMe (“I’m retiring it, before my US tour in April with my new show, Second Decoction”), other comics like Azeem Banatwalla, Kunal Rao, Daniel Fernandes and Kenny Sebastian promise to keep us in splits with English and Hindi stand-up, themed shows and sketches. “We will also have support events, like a panel discussion at the IIT campus on March 13, on intolerance in comedy. After all, we will be the next target for any intolerance as we are the ones who slaughter all the holy cows on stage,” says Kumar, adding that there will be a workshop for open micers on March 11—where senior comics will interact with them—besides an open mic competition on March 10.
March 11-13, across multiple venues. Rs 250 onwards. Details: in.bookmyshow.com
—Surya Praphulla Kumar
Food is one of the ways I warm up to a new city. So before a show, I usually have a couple of meals, and that gives me ideas. I also like to contextualise them. Something similar could happen in Chennai, but I won’t promise anything.
—Vikramjit Singh, 29
The AIB roast was popular, but I don’t see the point of it. When you joke about how someone looks, it’s an easy laugh. I like to make a point. I might compare how we in Delhi look at Chennai and vice versa—but, funnily enough, what you know of us is
negative and what we know of you is positive.
—Rajneesh Kapoor, 47
I’ve never written a single line for my shows. Even right before a show, I usually don’t know what I’ll be doing. But people seem to enjoy my dry delivery. As a comic, you need to look at the funny side of everything. So Donald Trump and Smriti Irani could make appearances in Chennai.
—Maheep Singh, 44
Get your laughter fix with a double bill Tamil play, Nagercoil Expressum Naadaga Companyum. Describing it as Koothu-P-Pattarai meets Crazy Mohan, Kumar says actor-director Vinodhini Vaidyanathan’s play—an ensemble comedy that incorporates satire, intelligent humour and slapstick—is a great example of the new wave of Tamil theatre. Born out of two shorter performances, Vaidyanathan says the new version will play to the gallery, but be a little subversive, too. “It combines koothu elements with a contemporary commentary,” she explains. The first story follows two travellers on a train who meet a stranger with a strange message, while the second is about a critic who comes to watch a play put up by a struggling theatre company. “There will be a lot of physical theatre, along with music, dance and live singing,” she says. At Museum Theatre, on March 19, 3.30 pm.