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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - THERE AREN'T MANY comedians who require no introduction, but when you can boast a Netflix special, have enjoyed time on late night American talk shows and actually took to the Dubai stage earlier this year, you should know what to expect from Vir Das. Just to be sure, though, we caught up with the stand-up, who will be performing as part of the Dubai Comedy Festival at Dubai World Trade Centre this Thursday at 8.30pm, while he was in Goa.
How does it feel to be back to Dubai?
It feels great. It's a mix of relief that one is getting out into the new world. Also, a little bit of nervousness because it's my first big gig that is happening since the lockdown. It's riveting to come and see an actual crowd after a very long time. I'm most excited about the new material that I have prepared because I've spent the last six months writing.
Great to be back on stage?
I've been performing shows outdoors during the daytime here in Goa, where I spent most of my time during the pandemic, but this is the first real big gig. Being back on stage means not to waste the microphone. I made up my mind during the lockdown that if I got a mic again and the chance to perform a gig, I was going to be fearless as a comedian. I'll make the most of it and never take it for granted again.
What can we expect?
My 'See You Outside Tour' set is about letting go of control. It's about questioning all the opinions that you have in life and realising that none of them really matter, which I think is something that the pandemic did to all of us. We've all realised that we're not in charge of anything and that's been liberating and fun.
After performing over in the US, what have you learnt about Americans that has surprised you?
I don't think there is such a thing as an American crowd or an Indian crowd, an Australian crowd or anything like that. I think people are now looking for a global perspective. In the First World Tour, we were able to hit about 28 countries and now we're doing over 37. I want to be an authentic Indian voice on the world circuit. That's the aim.
How have you found the journey into a career in comedy so far?
Laughter has been the soundtrack to the last 12 years of my life. I've seen the world three times, get to work across two different shows in Los Angeles and Mumbai, and the best part of being a comic is people are happy to see you when you walk into a room. Anything that angers me gets turned into humour, anything that makes me happy gets thrown into my comedy so it's definitely been just a tremendous privilege. I think all the downhill stuff that happened helped tone my comedy muscles and made me the best comedian I can be.
After films like Delhi Belly (2011) do you have plans to return to movies? How does it compare to live stand-up?
Absolutely! I have a rom-com and action movie coming up in 2021, one in Bollywood and the other in Hollywood. I do enjoy the filmmaking process and producing. You'll see me experimenting with different genres as a producer as well. I don't think anything compares to live stand-up, though. That's the peak. That's the top of the mountain. Everything else is a wonderful journey, but the destination is always live stand-up.
BookMyShow has teamed up with Front Row Events to bring Vir Das to the UAE. Tickets are priced from Dh145 at https://ae.bookmyshow.com.
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