The newest Netflix stand-up comedy special Ladies Up has a nightclub style setting and 15-minute sets featuring a female comedian each. The first of four episodes, Recently Empowered, is hosted by Prashasti Singh. The 32-year-old comedian, who describes herself as an “UP transplant”, made a switch to stand-up six months ago. Using Hindi and English, Singh blends urban issues with the experiences of a daughter of the soil.
Kaneez Surka calls her set It’s Kaneez, let her do. She takes stories from her formative years in South Africa to her migrant experience and carving a space as a 30-something divorcee in Mumbai. Of the four, Surka’s set is the most interactive, with better use of the space and more physical.
Three out of the four comics, including Niveditha Prakasam in her set Don’t Mind Me, draw their material from the immigrant experience, finding one’s roots and cultural re-contextualising.
Supriya Joshi, who is from Mumbai, makes her Malad neighbourhood the butt of the joke in Love Hurts. She’s a great performer with weak material, including gags about dating and break-ups. The final performer, Prakasam from Coimbatore, does not have the best delivery, but it’s refreshing to watch a non-Mumbai comic drawing on different material, such as Tamil movies and their influence.
Sex, relationships and self-deprecation are common sources for gags across all episodes, directed by Angshuman Ghosh. The humour ranges from personal experiences to obvious low-hanging fruit and the stand-up comic’s default tool – the use of expletives.
At a crisp 15 minutes each, each episode can be watched as a nugget. Sometimes feminist in their point of view, at other times simply going for the obvious laughs, and almost completely relatable, this a welcome platform for a bunch of talented creators.