Attend comedian Navin Noronha's 'The Good Boy' one last time in Mumbai before it goes online

26 March,2023 07:33 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Nidhi Lodaya

India’s first openly gay standup comedian talks about coming out of multiple closets to stop being the perfect child

This show, says Navin Noronha, was inspired by his mum, who always thought he was a good boy—he was raised Catholic, scored well in class and participated in extracurricular activities. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

He*s chubby, he*s funny and he*s gay! But he*s still a good child that way," reads Navin Noronha*s introduction on a ticketing platform. "I was raised a Catholic in small and conservative Bhayandar," he says. From being good at studies, securing high ranks, participating in extra-curricular activities to being an active member of the parish, Noronha was indeed the "perfect kid". He even studied engineering and secured a job in L&T, which made his parents proud.

"It*s just one of those things you do for your family," says the now Khar-based comedian. "But two weeks [into the job], I walked away because I really wanted to write and soon I realised that I wanted to write humour." He started trying out material at open mics, and eventually, became one of the country*s first openly gay comedians.

The also read here

Along the way, he had to "come out of multiple closets". All of this became material for his show, The Good Boy, which he is touring with for one last time in India, before taking it online. He has been with it across the country three times since it was first written in 2018. The major part of the narrative of the 80-90 minute set revolves around the reactions of his family as he became a not-so-good-boy". But there are also insights from the world of gay dating, and how his mother and his partner met for the first time. "These are perspectives we rarely get to see," the 31-year-old says of his set that has had evolved to have different versions, such that no two sets are the same. "It keeps growing and changing. We have finally locked the version we really liked, and will record it live in Bengaluru."

The punch line that Noronha wants to deliver is that all of us are not good kids. "Our parents put so much pressure on us to be the perfect kid. In the process we lose a part of us. In India we are always expected to be a certain way," he says. "If you are Muslim and want to marry a Hindu or vice versa, you have to come out of a closet to your family; Or if you want to adopt a child instead of having your own, you have to come out of that closet, which is a norm." He urges parents to watch the show with their children to understand that their offspring is not "bad" as there any many others who want similar things. However, he also makes it clear that this is not a kid-friendly show.

You get an indication of this from the artwork of the show - his first choice of being depicted as a cherub could not be fulfilled because it wasn*t appropriate, so he settled for praying in a toga which, "only those who have seen my show will get".

What should a first-timer expect? "Lots of queer people; it*s like one of those queer parties," he says. "My shows are interactive and everyone wants to participate. I don*t tell my audience to not talk in the middle of the show. The themes delve into different arenas of human sexuality so I keep telling my audience to ask if they don*t understand a term, or have any other query. "The queer community has responded to this unique approach, saying, ‘that is what a comedy show should be like*."

WHAT: The Good Child
WHEN: April 7 and 8
WHERE: The J Spot, Bandra West; Backspace, Thane
PRICE: Rs 299 onwards

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