Pal begins his set with an over-performed tirade on Britain’s forays in the Indian subcontinent. He diverges from colonialism to Bollywood, which is an interesting but slightly strange segue, by recounting a famous 1980s Bollywood movie, Disco Dancer. Members of the audience are assigned characters from the film, which makes it easy to follow along with Pal’s narrative. Pal connects the two themes by asking members of the audience to vote if Disco Dancer should be classified as a tragedy or comedy. He relates the movie to the topic of Democracy with a hilarious recount of how his choice on the movie’s genre ended up with him almost being sued under a colonial-era law that is still present in India’s constitution.
Pal’s charisma and eloquence come through in his comedic performance, and it is easy to follow along with the plot of the movie even with the various plot twists added. The surprising twist at the end connected the whole set in an intelligent and unexpected manner, bringing the two themes together. Pal’s brand of humour is witty and smart, avoiding slapstick humour, and teaches the audience about relics of colonisation that continues to have a bearing influence in India’s judiciary.
While Pal is a good story-teller, the content is not entirely original as most of his set was a recount of a movie. Pal primarily strays away from social and political issues, focusing on Britain’s colonial relationship with India, with some jokes centred on Brexit.
Although the show is held in a lecture-like setting, it works well for Pal’s comedic style as he is able to converse with the crowd effortlessly. The use of disco lighting and music are immaculate and added to the experience. Overall, Anuvab Pal’s Democracy and Disco Dancing is entertaining and bound to have the crowd in laughter throughout the hour. Be prepared for some disco beats and amusing dancing!
Anuvab Pal: Democracy and Disco Dancing is on at Assembly George Square Studios-Five
At 17:30 until 26th August
Buy tickets here
Image: Karla Gowlett