'Lola is my first point of reference'

Strong presence

'Lola is my first point of reference'

You may know her as the oily-haired, bespectacled, heavily-accented Keralite called ‘Lola Kutty’, but Anuradha Menon is much more than that. The comedian, television actor, theatre artiste and VJ will be in the city tomorrow to perform at the ‘The Park’s New Festival’ curated by The Park Hotels along with Prakriti Foundation.

In a tete-a-tete with Anila Kurian, Anuradha talks about her solo performance and how many still know her only as ‘Lola Kutty’.

Tell us about your performance for ‘The Park’s New Festival’.
It’s a monologue titled ‘Take 35’ about a child actor who hasn’t reached adulthood yet. It portrays the struggle in life and various challenges that she has to go through.

Which actor were you thinking about when you wrote this?
No one in particular; there’s a lot of personal reference in it. But if you look at it, the child actors we grew up watching are still often referred to as ‘baby’ when we talk about their movies. And the
child actors are under so much pressure, even from their parents, to perform well. Many can’t seem to make that transition from a child actor to mainstream movies. That’s what brought together ‘Take 35’.

You’ve performed in a few cities already, how did the audience react?
Yes, I’ve performed in Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad. I liked how the audience connected to different parts of the act. Some agreed and some disagreed.

Many still know you as ‘Lola Kutty’. Are you tired of that tag?
I don’t think I will resent a character that I have created but of course, Lola is my first point of reference. And it’s the reason I don’t get any offers to do item numbers (laughs)! But that’s not something I can help, so it’s alright. I’ve had people at standup shows who have been disappointed that I am not like Lola Kutty.

Since you often perform live, do you think that the scenario for women comedians have changed for the better?
If you look at it the world scenario, there are definitely more male comedians than female. That’s just the way it is. And I know that women can’t make the same kind of jokes men do and expect people to laugh. So I say that if you don’t like the joke, don’t laugh. Gender should not play the role in comedy. Having said that, there are a lot more opportunities for everyone now.

What else are you busy with these days?
I’m joining Vir Das for his Amazon show called ‘Destination Unknown’. It’s sort of like a travel log-cum- reality show. I will also have my one woman special in November. I’m excited for both.

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