eST partnered with Bluefeather studios, UK – a beautiful spirited company run by a smart, hardworking couple from India. We together did shows across Reading, Milton Keynes, Camden, Wembley, Birmingham in Nov’2017. Sandhya Anantharaman, the co-founder of Bluefeather Studios, talks about how the idea of bringing Indian Comedy trend to UK came to be.
In the last couple of years, India has been more accepting towards comedy as a serious art form and Indian comics are well received and accepted at various art forms.
Having lived in London for a decade, I have always wondered as to why we do not have a lot of Indian Comedy shows in the U.K. We do have a few film premiers and music shows, but the Indian theatre art and stand-up comedy seems to be missing altogether. This gap seems to be only in the UK, as I have witnessed my friends from India, Singapore, Australia, United States and other places all around the world enjoying Indian shows, making me slightly jealous.
Digging in a bit, I realised this gap is purely because, very few to none have taken any initiative to organise a show! So, this is when me and my husband Suresh, decided to do something and take the first step in bringing a bit of India to the UK!
As true to the fact, the entire universe conspires in bringing together every element to make things happen, KK published a post on Facebook stating, he is looking for potential organisers for his debut show in the UK! This was the sign, a push and the right opportunity! There was no looking back.
I still remember the golden date, 22nd of July 2016, when we first contacted KK to get a prompt response asking to send more details to Rabhinder. Four months later we organised the most successful KK’s UK tour. It has been a lot of hard work, mostly as we have had no experience in event management, but only been die-hard fans of talented artists. This, combined with a great passion to bring Indian Theatre/Comic Art to the UK Audience.
In terms of organising, we did everything the way we would have wanted it to be from an audience perspective. The hardest thing about organising something for the first time is, you do not know what really sells and how to find your target audience. We started small, within our friend circle and friends of friends. Facebook has been our only marketing tool. Having contacted many Indian forums and groups in the first few weeks, we were reassured, people were just waiting for someone to organise something different so they can all witness good art.
Once having tested the waters, we contacted evam and made our official offer. Rabhinder and KK have been the most understanding and professional people we have ever met, and largely the reason for this successful venture.
One incident I will remember and cherish was that at the first show held in Reading. As expected, I was nervous, excited, overwhelmed and confused all at the same time. We were doing the sound check and realised we had some issues with the projector. We had only about 5 minutes for the doors to open. I went down to the security and said “I don’t think people will anyways turn up on time but we promised to open the door at 6:30 pm, can you please wait till 6:35 and then open the door? It is 6:25 now, and we need 10 more minutes to finish our set up” What came as a surprise followed by nervousness was, the Security guy replied, “There are about 25 people waiting in queue”. Hiding behind the door and seeing people queue up for the show was unbelievable. I pinched myself to assure I was not dreaming! I went back to the stage and rushed the sound tech to wrap up as soon as possible.
We stood at the back, crying happy tears, watching 100’s of people laughing their heart out. It was a feeling of having just given birth to an amazing child that everyone loved..!!
We are overwhelmed to know the general audience would want more Indian shows in the UK. I do think Bluefeather Studios along with evam deserve a pat on the back for introducing the Indian comedy culture in the UK, at such a large scale.
Finally, as a word of gratitude, we are very happy, thankful and content for having organised KK’s UK tour. We look forward to work with evam and other Indian artists and comics and do a lot more in the UK in the near future.