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That Comedy Club completes 7 years, invites 30 comics to perform in Mumbai to celebrate the occasion

Updated on: 28 June,2023 08:49 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Devanshi Doshi |

The seven year anniversary of That Comedy Club will see a grand celebration at four venues across the city. Owner Sumendra Singh reminisces about the past and shares his plans going forward

That Comedy Club completes 7 years, invites 30 comics to perform in Mumbai to celebrate the occasion

The seven-year celebration will see 30 comics perform across four venues in the city a show in Mumbai in 2019

We had completely forgotten that we’re completing seven years,” Sumendra Singh, owner of That Comedy Club, chuckled over the phone. But despite that, Singh has managed to get 30 comics to perform at the last moment in four venues across the city to celebrate the date with the fanfare it deserves. “It took one text to confirm if these artistes were available to perform on the dates. Some of them like Varun Thakur, Urooj Ashfaq and Prashasti Singh have been around since the beginning of the club. And so, we take the first chance we get to get back together.”

Singh recalls how as a 27-year-old in 2015 he had left behind his job as a music promoter in night clubs in search of a more organised form of entertainment. “I wanted to start something with fewer uncertainties, but at the same time, an idea that is more challenging,” he says, adding that because he was in contact with many clubs, he was aware of the situation in the industry — too many comics, but not enough producers. After holding a few shows in small clubs, Singh opened his own comedy club in 2016 at Bengaluru.

One of the shows in Bengaluru. Pic courtesy/Instagram
One of the shows in Bengaluru. Pic courtesy/Instagram

“The industry is not more than 12 to 13 years old in the country. When I started, we were prone to failures. I founded the brand, and my friend Adeel KQ partnered with me to set up the Bengaluru spaces. All three of them shut down in the pandemic. But, I started again in Mumbai in 2019 all by myself. That, in my opinion, was when That Comedy Club really kicked-off,” he revealed.

With close to 650 shows produced over the past 12 months, That Comedy Club makes it a point to host at least two shows every day on weekdays, and three on the weekends. According to Singh, the shows that get the most acknowledgements are his Late Night Comedy Shows. “We don’t reveal the line-ups to our audience beforehand. But the fact that the shows are still always sold-out prove how much the audience trusts us with the curation,” he reasons. With his producer Sagarika Bhandara being the only other member on the team, Singh handles all the curation.

Sumendra SinghSumendra Singh

“It’s a lot of work to produce comedy shows. There’s always room for error. You will never come to our shows and say that the sound is off-key. We are particular about the technical and the curation part of it. This is why I have never strayed away from standup comedy — not even improv. Our open mics are also just comedy,” he reveals, further sharing that despite this, they do have other plans in terms of execution in the future. “People are always complaining about our shows being sold-out. We are now relocating to another venue in the city. We will make sure that this space, wherever that may be, has more seating capacity  [at least 60 to 75], comfortable seats and proper waiting areas.”

When asked about the one thing that he has learnt from this industry and would like to pass on to on to those keen to take it further, Singh replied, “Brace for failure. When I was young, and I used to make mistakes, I’d think that it’d take me three days to correct it or improvise. I have now learnt over time that your mistakes and your weak points take years of work before you can get things back on track. And trust me, I have made a lot of mistakes and faced a lot of failures. But I have always come out having learned more, about myself and about the industry. And this industry is still young. Even after seven years of That Comedy Club, we are still learning and improvising,  and will continue to,” he signs off.

On: July 1; July 8; July 15; July 28
At: St Andrews Auditorium; Tata Theatre; Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir; Royal Opera House Theatre.
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Cost: Rs 499 onwards

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