Aditi Mittal: Global Village Idiot
- Suzanne Black
- 17 August 2017
This article is from 2017
A enlightening and unique hour about India's past and present
Aditi Mittal is one of the very few English-language, female comedians working in India. Don't just take her word for it: she's done the maths. While there are many British-Indian comedians on the UK comedy circuit, Mittal's perspective is a little different. From a country that is simultaneously ancient while only existing as an independent state since 1947 and still suffering a hangover from colonialism, Mittal makes recourse to her own heritage and experiences of other cultures on her many travels, covering India's incredible population size, cuisine, religions and sanitation.
Dubbing herself a 'village idiot' (as in one who makes others laugh), there is another function of this traditional role, which is saying the things that others are afraid to utter. In our age of globalisation and hyper-speed communications, it can be easy to believe we know what's going on all over the world. Mittal reminds us of the many differences that still exist: I was genuinely enlightened about Indian toilet practices.
With the laughs evenly dispersed throughout (except when she mentions Britain's colonial past and the tension rises), the hour would benefit from a defined ending but is illuminating and unique without feeling like a lesson.
Underbelly Med Quad, until 27 Aug, 6.35pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).