As the fanbase for standup comedy expands, venues too are catching up. Most of them still have a long way to go in terms of how differently the stage, seating and sound works at a live standup comedy show (as opposed to any other live performance), and it will be a while before we get the live comedy experience just right. But we’re getting there.
We are barely done with the first quarter of the year and we already have two new intimate spaces dedicated to comedy—CounterCulture Comedy Club in Chennai, and That Comedy Club in Mumbai. What’s more? They’ve had solid lineups week on week. Fingers crossed.
That Comedy Club, Mumbai
Mumbai already has The Cuckoo Club and The Habitat, two hot favourites with comedy scene in Mumbai. And now we also have That Comedy Club, the first of which opened Bangalore in 2016, and has been very popular since. The Mumbai club had its opening night on 14 March, boasting a stellar line-up with Abhishek Upmanyu, Aishwarya Mohanraj, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Pavitra Shetty, Prashasti Singh, Varun Grover, and *surprise* Sapan Verma. And because they knew that wouldn’t be enough, the rest of the opening weekend (hosted by Anirban Dasgupta) also saw sets by Azeem Banatwalla and Sonali Thakker on Saturday, and Masoon Rajwani and Karunesh Talwar.
It’s done up entirely in black and pink, but this cosy space is serious about their comedy. Ensuring an intimate comedy experience, they’ve done away with F&B distractions, and their USP lies in encouraging fans to watch more live comedy by featuring only very carefully curated lineups.
Looks like a good bet for those who want to be sure they’re going to get a good night out, but it’s still early yet. Let’s see how they go,
Follow them on Instagram for gig updates.
Brick wall: Check
When to go: Friday-Sunday (for the first month)
Gig Calendar: Follow them on Instagram for all updates.
Address: Pali Hill, Madhumilan Building, Bandra West (Above Smoke House Deli) | T: +91 95358 62899
CounterCulture Comedy Club, Chennai
CounterCulture Comedy Club Chennai opened its doors to the public on 1 February 2019 as a venue focused on comedy, with an emphasis on promoting local and regional talent. Having run venues earlier in most metropolitan cities under the aegis of CounterCulture company from 2010-2015, they have now decided to restructure and offer a wholesome space for standup comedy in India, rather than a generic entertainment venue.
The Chennai comedy club is the first in the list of 10 planned clubs, which will not remain limited to tier-I cities. Given that they’ve only been around a short while, they are experimenting with their show slots, formats and the things on offer.
For now, with a handful of comics powering the scene in Chennai, it’s worth checking out since it’s specifically designed to serve both the artist and the comedy enthusiast.
Brick wall: Check
Seating: Intimate, 150-seater setting
F&B: Food and alcohol not served at the venue
When to go: The club is open on Thursdays (open mic), Fridays (Evam and regional comics), Saturdays and Sundays (travelling comics).
Gig calendar: Follow them on Instagram for all updates.
Address: 3rd Floor, 16, 1st Cross St, Cooperative Colony, Sri Ram Nagar, Alwarpet | T: +91 82208 32419
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