• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Reviews

Anuvab Pal’s stand-up show dissects the colonial impact

THE DEPARTMENT OF BRITISHNESS

By: Asjad Nazir

TOP stand-up talent Anuvab Pal is no stranger to dissecting the British empire with cutting edge comedy. Instead of using a scalpel, he wields a giant sword with his latest show and slices through all aspects of Britishness, from the colonisation of India to contemporary nuances of UK culture. 

 With a photo of Idi Amin and Rishi Sunak on stage at the iconic Soho Theatre in central London, the clever Indian comic immediately connected with the mostly non-Asian audience. He took on diverse subjects like the English language, politics, pessimism, etiquette, cultural differences, commonalities, yoga and what it means to be British in a post-Brexit world.  

Great stories, including an Air India incident and chapters from history, were mixed up with sharp observations of how people interact with one another. There was also self-depreciating humour and a hilarious list of what he likes about British culture. 

 The various jokes, stories and anecdotes were elevated to a higher level by the comedian’s stage presence, which included mannerisms, facial expressions and body language generating roars of laughter. But what really made this a special show was his ability to make each bit relatable to audiences from different cultures and age groups.  

There perhaps could have been more audience interaction and a bigger spotlight on British colonial history. He definitely had scope to play the enjoyable department of Britishness character more. 

 That didn’t take away from this being a unique stand-up experience that enabled audiences to understand Britishness a little better. 

 Him being able to maintain the momentum from start to finish meant the audiences were captivated by the journey they were taken on, from a colonial past to constantly complaining about the British weather. It is no wonder that Pal is widely regarded as the cleverest Indian stand-up comedian on the circuit. 

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