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Papa CJ is back to entertain you with his new show called Naked

Papa CJ loves to make people laugh, and he won’t shy away from talking about it either. In fact, according to him, his last show in India, at a college last month was “phenomenal”. Now he’s back to tour the country with shows lined up in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, all through January.
His new show, daringly called “Naked” is a brand new act, and he says, “Naked is my most raw, honest, and compelling show till date. It is very different from anything I have done before. While comedy forms the bulk of the show, I prefer to call it a multi-genre theatrical production. Drama, poetry, storytelling, music, dance, comedy, tragedy, and hope are some of the elements that comprise this show.” It must be good, or why else would he be invited to premiere it at the prestigious Soho Theatre in London. It’s also the first show in the theatre by an Indian comedian. In fact, he’s travelled quite a bit with Naked, having performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015.
But has he watched other Indian standup acts, and does he have any favourite performers? “I rarely get to see other Indian performers, however, from what I’ve seen, Varun Grover is one of my favourites. I also enjoy Neeti Palta, Jeeveshu Ahluwalia, Atul Khatri and Sundeep Rao. I recently saw Daniel Fernandes and liked his style too. I am also partial towards comedians I’ve seen develop into solid performers, and it makes me happy when I see them do well. And while I haven’t seen Abish Mathew perform in a long time, I still love him,” he says.
Standup comedy can be controversial, but CJ doesn’t think much about it. “With regard to disapproval from the audience while I’m performing, I don’t really care. I’m not there for your approval; I just want your laughter! As the president of a company I recently performed for said, ‘We enjoyed every bit of it but we endorse none of it!’
January 9. At Ambedkar Bhavan, Vasanthnagar. 7.30pm. Tickets (Rs 499 onwards) on bookmyshow.com
—Priyadarshini Nandy

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