Guardian Interview

Empire state of mind: the comedian untangling India’s identity crisis

With his persona of a Raj-revering Indian, Anuvab Pal dons a Beefeater jacket and judge’s wig to trace colonial legacy in the standup show The Empire

Anuvab Pal
 ‘I wanted to understand this bizarre generation of anglicised Indians’ … Anuvab Pal.

Reckoning with colonialism is on the minds of third-generation diaspora kids. Projects such as the Crimes of Britain website are monitoring Britain’s imperial legacy for today’s youth and interrogating Britain’s claim to greatness. Now, the Indian standup Anuvab Pal anatomises the same subject matter in his touring comedy show, The Empire, which he performs at Soho theatre in London this week.

A Bengali native, Pal offers an Indian perspective on the armies who turned up uninvited on India’s shores. But he also uses his routines to inform audiences of a subset of Indians who yearn for the return of the Raj.

 

READ HERE:

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/may/02/anuvab-pal-interview-the-empire-soho-theatre-india-identity-british-raj

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I’m doing a comedy scriptwriting workshop in Mumbai

Matterden presents 

‘How to Write a Comedy Script?’ – A Workshop by AnuvabPal (supported by SWA)
William Shakespeare once said comedy is tragedy plus time. But is it really that simple? What makes a scene or a script inherently comic? Is it tone, content, situation, absurdity, the opposite of what would happen in regular life, all of these or none of these?

The workshop: 
In a 2-day workshop, Anuvab Pal takes you through writing and building the structure of comedy scripts, focusing on how to write a comic scene, and the tools required/ differences to establish in building a comedy story as opposed to any other genre. Ultimately, as someone said, funny is funny, but inthe age of stand up comedy that’s very fashionable in India today, can this be taught? Or is it just instinct? What’s the difference between writing characters and doing stand-up? Is being funny the same as writing funny? Come to find out.

The mentor:
Anuvab Pal according to The Times Of India is one of India’s top 10comedians and according to the NY Times, India’s Most Intelligent Stand-Up. He began his career at The Comedy Store (now Canvas Laugh Club) in 2010 and has done sold out shows in 30 Indian cities and 11 countries around the world. His stand up special Alive At 40 is now on Amazon Prime. He is the screenwriter of the comedy films Loins Of Punjab Presents and The President Is Coming. His latest comedy series Going Viral is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Date and Time:
7 & 8 July, 2018, 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM (both days)

Fee: Rs. 5000/-workshop.jpeg

The Guardian on The Empire Show – 2nd May, 2018

Empire state of mind: the comedian untangling India’s identity crisis

With his persona of a Raj-revering Indian, Anuvab Pal dons a Beefeater jacket and judge’s wig to trace colonial legacy in the standup show The Empire

Anuvab Pal
 ‘I wanted to understand this bizarre generation of anglicised Indians’ … Anuvab Pal.

Reckoning with colonialism is on the minds of third-generation diaspora kids. Projects such as the Crimes of Britain website are monitoring Britain’s imperial legacy for today’s youth and interrogating Britain’s claim to greatness. Now, the Indian standup Anuvab Pal anatomises the same subject matter in his touring comedy show, The Empire, which he performs at Soho theatre in London this week.

A Bengali native, Pal offers an Indian perspective on the armies who turned up uninvited on India’s shores. But he also uses his routines to inform audiences of a subset of Indians who yearn for the return of the Raj.

“A certain sort of middleman got very rich both in Britain and India by exploiting poor Indian people, who have pretty much always been exploited,” he tells me over the phone. “And it wasn’t just the British doing horrible things directly – it was through a class they created.”

And what does this class look like? Pal’s interpretation dons a Beefeater jacket and judge’s wig, and adopts the personality of an Indian suffering from such a fervent colonial hangover that Ukip’s nationalism seems tame. This is a character who has no desire to be Indian. He sports jodhpurs, refers to his friends as “old chap” with the staccato slur of a bygone radio announcer, takes his wife ballroom dancing and attends Gymkhana and croquet clubs.

 

Read The Rest Here:

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/may/02/anuvab-pal-interview-the-empire-soho-theatre-india-identity-british-raj