Aditi Mittal: Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say at Soho Theatre
Aditi Mittal is a whirlwind on stage. Appearing for her first time at the Soho Theatre, she is vocal about the fact that she cannot believe her luck. But it is clear that there is no luck about it: Mittal moves with all the vibrancy of a consummate stand-up comic, owning the mic, and even the tripped-over speech is choreographed to a tee.
Mittal’s stand-up draws widely from her cultural background as a woman born and raised on the Indian subcontinent, and puts a woman’s supposed place in Indian culture under the microscope. This is not a topic that is perhaps so well-trodden for comedians in Britain. Equally, as a white male reviewer, one must be aware not to talk about things one does not understand. But Mittal is a traditionalist at heart: laughs come from her observations about modern Indian culture but they are built on timing, expression and voice like any good comic. Her anecdotes about awful arranged dates and women’s sanitary products are just as relevant to a British as to an Indian audience.
Her quick change into Dr Mrs Lutchuke, sexual health teacher and cultural stereotype, demonstrates Mittal’s versatility and draws from the rich tradition of character roles that comedians have been perfecting for years. She ends with a well-known song for which she has penned her own lyrics, thereby completing the triumvirate of the stand-up comedian: great timing, great characters and a musical number.
Aditi Mittal is a real breath of fresh air. As her show’s title suggests, she is willing to say the things that other people won’t – always something that stands a comic in good stead – but her delivery feels effortless and honest, and what she says connects with her audience. With so many comedians in Britain these days opting for either overtly topical drivel or narratively bereft silliness, Aditi Mittal is doing something new, but also very old: she is speaking from the heart, and people love it.
Aditi Mittal: Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say is at Soho Theatre from 17th until 20th August 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Read our interview with Aditi Mittal here.