Co-founder of Evam, Sunil Vishnu believes in bringing in a local flavour to stand-up comedy
What is a good way to relax amid a hectic work schedule? Perhaps at one on the increasingly popular comedy shows in the city, laughing out loud at the stand-up comedians and their witty lines.
“Bangaloreans have a great sense of humour. This is the reason behind the steady rise in the popularity of stand-up comedy shows in the city,” explains Sunil Vishnu K., director and co-founder of Evam, a Chennai-based entertainment entrepreneurship, during a recent visit here.
Evam is currently hosting stand-up comedy shows, ‘Stand-Up Tamasha', every Friday at Kyra Theatre at Indiranagar. “And, the rousing welcome we have received is very satisfying,” smiles Sunil.
Comedy shows, he says, have touched the “funny bone” of people, as they are live and interactive. “Our audience in Bangalore comes to us to enjoy an evening full of laughter and fun, with their friends and family. They love the honesty and truthfulness in the performances, as they go back home after a hearty laugh.”
A hit with urban India
Sunil, a graduate of Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, and the India finalist for the Young Performing Arts Entrepreneur award 2009, given by the British Council, points out that stand-up comedy is an American concept that is gaining large-scale acceptance across urban India in recent times.
“Our comedians try to bring in a lot of local flavour and anecdotes associated with the city. We cannot crack some alien jokes, borrowed from the Internet,” he says.
Be it the angst of a 40-year-old unmarried man or the break-up saga of a lovelorn heart, or even the rigmarole of corporate life, audiences love the comedy depicting patches from their own life.
Ask him what Bangalore's favourite joke is and pat comes the reply: “Of course, it has to be about the city's traffic woes.”
The young crowd in Bangalore, mostly working in corporate houses, loves the “local” flavour of the shows, Sunil says, and adds that Evam gets several invitations from corporate houses to entertain their employees. “We have performed shows on the office premises of companies such as Infosys and Oracle, to name a few.”
Pool of talent
Sunil feels that Bangalore has a huge pool of talent, which is ready to be tapped. “Evam has around 12 stand-up comedians, half of whom are from Bangalore. The others are from Chennai.”
He is also excited about the large pool of theatre talent in the city. “Our play Five Point Someone, first staged three years ago, still ensures a full house when we stage it here. All the cast and crew are from Bangalore,” says Sunil, who directed the play.
For him and co-founder of Evam Karthik Kumar, Bangalore is like a second home, he says. “For us, coming from Chennai to Bangalore is almost like a vacation, as we get great weather here.We also have many old friends settled here,” he smiles.
Evam, founded by Sunil and Karthik in 2003, is an award-winning theatre entrepreneurship in the business of line entertainment shows, workshops and cultural festivals.