New York-based Radhika Vaz comes to town with Unladylike, a stand-up act, that will make you shift in your seat even as you ensure you don't fall off it while laughing your guts out
British actress Edith Evans once famously asked, "When a woman behaves like a man, why can't she behave like a nice man?" Several of these questions will be answered in Radhika Vaz's show -Unladylike - The Pitfalls of Propriety.
The third chapter of the comedy nights with Bangalore comedy enthusiast Ajit Saldanha is hitting town on Thursday.
Radhika Vaz wants to discuss everything under the sun
And this time, it's a pair of comedienne, something that the city can surely do with, given that Bangalore has only seen stand up acts of comedians of late.
Twenty-four-year old Aditi Mittal from Mumbai will do a 30-minute opening act for the New York-based Radhika Vaz who's performing in India for the first time.
"I'm trying to make sense of the world and this most transitional country called India. We have so much information flying around, but don't have an opinion. So I break the information down for the audience.
I'm often accused of having feminist material, but I'm just a woman. I will discuss everything from eve teasing to pandas, fashion and Anna Hazare as my humour is observational and deviates from the social norms in an acceptable manner," says Aditi who teaches Creative Writing in St Xavier's College, Mumbai and is excited about performing in Bangalore for the first time.
Radhika, a veteran in the profession, having studied improvised comedy for six years in Improvaluation, New York, insists that even though she moved to the city at the age of 28, her comedy doesn't have traces of American humour.
Radhika, an alumnus of Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, will perform a 60-minute-act with eight sets on topics ranging from farting, blow jobs, watching pornography with her husband, bikini wax, losing her virginity and getting her first period.
The year-old-act premieres in Bangalore in India and travels to Mumbai and Delhi. "Unladylike is a word people use to label women's behaviour.
When you're being lady like, you are doing it because you want approval, sometimes from men and a lot of the times from women. But I discuss unladylike behaviour and say that we shouldn't be worried about it," says Radhika.
She wears a navy and white polka dotted dress for the performance, has a tea cup and saucer on a table and a little bowl of flowers just to give the audience a reference point. "I wanted to have a costume for the show. I'm obsessed with 1950s and 1960s housewives.
I want to dress like them every day. That was an era when women didn't have any rights and the women's lib movement started then. As for the cup and saucer, the audiences are my friends and I invite them for something like a tea party," she states.
Self deprecating humour works for the 40-year-old. "i intentionally built a character that would have the courage to say such things. I don't bash men but make digs at a bunch of rules that put women down and make their lives uncomfortable.
Why do we have to wax, for instance? Of course, some of my hippie friends don't wax at all but I do because it's somehow unsexy for a woman to not wax as is farting in public," she rues.
Radhika isn't worried about her risqu � content. She believes in turning the joke on herself, her husband whom she stalked all the way to New York and the rest of her family. She doesn't harass audience members either. "They are stressed out anyway," she reasons.
Radhika, who wants to start a comedy show on TV for India soon, is aware that it's a profession ruled by men. "Comedy, like the rest of showbiz, is typically more skewed towards men. Most people buy tickets to comedy shows by men. The only way we can change this is if we get more women to attend the shows.
It's an intimidating field and hence find less takers among women. But in the US and England, there are many comediennes and they are huge. So things should change in India soon," she asserts.
The quickest way to get the audience hooked on is to have relatable material, feels Radhika. "If it's relatable, I will remember the joke. But it can't be a joke two friends thought about when they were high," she reasons.
WHere Alliance Francaise De Bangalore, Vasanthnagar
ON September 16, 8 pm
Where Manchester United Pub, No. 1, Kira Layout, Hosur Main Road, Koramangala
On September 17, 8 pm
Where Jagriti Theatre, Ramagondahalli, Varthur Road
On September 18, 8 pm
FOR R 1000(including cocktails and snacks) at Alliance Francaise and Manchester United and R 500 at Jagriti