Auntie Netta And The Trouble With Asian Men
Show of two halves from East is East producers
This article is from 2011.
Playing on the stereotype of hyper-caring Asian mother figure often ridiculed in the likes of Goodness Gracious Me, Auntie Netta is incredibly endearing. Offering around snacks, she explains her outlook on British life from Loose Women to Cameron and Clegg, as she prepares to make her third application for asylum. Sure, it sounds like a heavy subject, and there are serious points being made with Netta referring to being egged by racists and interrogated about her wish to stay in the UK. But it is full of wry observations, knowing winks and references to her ‘pumpi’ (ahem).
Next up is The Trouble with Asian Men, a group who do ‘verbatim comedy’, repeating real conversations heard through headsets. Normally a duo, they enlist an additional special guest performer each night. Also by Tamasha – the producers of East is East – they send up several clichés such as the possessive husband, overbearing mother, and kept wife, highlighting the difficulties of being a young Asian in the UK whose views are not in keeping with the majority. Although obviously skilled and channelling one character after another at break-neck speed, they lack the audience rapport Netta has just moments before, making their performance less memorable.
Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, until 28 Aug, 9.45pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).