Once upon a pandemic

Updated: Jun 30, 2020, 12:02 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

Comedian Anuvab Pal discusses tools for comedy writing in and about the pandemic

Anuvab Pal
Anuvab Pal

There is an old saying that the only difference between madness and stand-up comedy is an audience," says Anuvab Pal, comedian and writer who has several translations, web series and more to his credit. He believes, whether it is for stand-up comedy or scripts, as much as the tools of writing remain the same, in the lockdown, the rules have changed.

It is what he will be talking about, in his four-day workshop titled Writing Comedy During a Pandemic. The thought germinated when he was asked to write a show set in the lockdown by a streaming platform. "It made me realign everything, but most importantly, structure," he says.

Over the course of four days, during each 45-minute-long Zoom session, Pal will take about 50 participants through the basics of scriptwriting; from narrative and character, conflict and resolution to what constitutes a want and its counter, and how to end a comedy piece. "It is primarily scriptwriting but the same tools are applicable to stand-up comedy, too. The story remains the same except here, you are the only teller," he shares, adding that he will address some aspects of performance as well.

"There are technical aspects but the nature of the story also changes when there is no laughter in the room. How do stories change when there is no laughter punctuating them?" he says.

So, whether it is a piece set in the pandemic or one that you are writing during it, the workshop has you covered. Pal insists that even if the current situation is temporary its impact on writing cannot be dismissed. "It's like after World War II you had a trove of material coming out after. You can't set a romance in 1942 and not acknowledge the war. Similarly, you can't set a story in June 2020 where two people are casually getting on a flight," he explains.

Pal confesses that the sessions are short, keeping in mind attention spans on a virtual forum, and will not be as extensive as his in-person workshops tend to be.

On July 2 to July 6, 6 pm to 6.45 pm
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Cost Rs 2,500

Also catch

In a writing workshop titled The Donkey and the Palm Tree, comedian Kajol Srinivasan teaches you how to connect otherwise unrelated topics and situations. It begins with a warm-up followed by a lecture on technique after which you also get to write your own piece.

On July 7, 10 pm
Log On to insider.in
Cost Rs 100

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