Spitfire on stage

Woman power

Spitfire on stage

Without a doubt, one can describe the standup comedian Shrirupa Sengupta as a spitfire. Arguably one of the best in the City, Shrirupa won the Bengaluru final round of ‘Melbourne International Comedy Festival Raw Heats’ in 2014 and came into the standup comedy circuit that same year, like a breath of fresh air.

Gallivanting between Kolkata and Bengaluru, she performs in various styles of comedy such as improv, standup and concept comedy shows. She is also a part of the club, ‘Improv Comedy Bangalore’. Her joyful personality is easy to fall in love with on stage. And off-stage, Shrirupa can be found at rehearsals, burning things in the kitchen, putting her degree in social work to use, writing content and trying to shape shift into a cat. She shares tidbits about her life in an interview with Anushka Sivakumar.

What if you hadn’t stumbled upon standup comedy?

I would be a writer of life’s most important philosophies centering around laundry, burning beetroot and failing in relationships…
spectacularly.

Has anyone ever told you that you can’t take up standup comedy as you’re a woman? What if that happens?

Enrol the person into a biology class. I love being part of people’s self-improvement graph.

How often do you freak out because of too many people on the scene?

I freak out from time to time because such competitions are like Math tests which make me a wreck. Then, I go back to just having fun because that’s my default mode. I really don't understand competitiveness when it comes to creativity or art form. We essentially are on our own paths, expressing who we uniquely are. So, to pit it against another person’s uniqueness is pretty much a waste of time.

How does your writing evolve?

I am a natural eavesdropper, patient bystander and too much of an empath. I drown in other people’s feelings. So when I am not sad, depressed or planning to throw a cactus at someone who hurt you, I am getting material.

Your worst show…

Last week, I was entertaining a group of women of all generations and the hostess had prepped me with gossip about each member, asking me to fashion it all into a
set.

Ten minutes into the routine, one mother-in-law took great umbrage upon one
daughter-in-law and soon it just became a free-for-all. The mother-in-law took my mic away to make her point. I think I just became a family wrecker.

The weirdest audience reaction...

“You are very thoughtful”.
I thanked them and blushed prettily. My inner voice, which takes time to speak up went “Wait? What were we doing again?”

What if most people walk out during your show?

I find a person or a couple of people who aren't moving and perform the rest of my set solely for them, staring into their eyes from time to time. It is creepy and delightful at the same time.  
 
How do you think the world will end?

It won’t. But we will all probably turn into fish soon as the water levels rise.

Your favourite comedians from Bengaluru.
I really enjoy all their sets so it is superbly difficult to pick favourites. I think people should check out as many open mic and comedy shows possible in the city because each of Bengaluru’s perfo­rmers have a unique style and a really refreshing perspective.

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