'Naked' Papa CJ on representing India at the Shared History and Fringe Festivals

Entertainment | August 4, 2015 | News

Papa CJ

Papa CJ's new show ‘Naked’ has been invited to represent India at the Shared History Festival in South Africa in September 2015. The invitation came after the people who curate the festival saw ‘Naked’ at the Shillong CALM Festival where it received a standing ovation from a full house of 800 people. This development comes following a string of performances at international festivals and events of considerable repute. 

The show is also the only solo comedy show from India that will be showcasing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2015. For this, ‘Naked’ will be produced under the banner of Get Comedy Ltd in the UK which also manages Jim Jefferies, Gina Yashere, Glenn Wool and Rhys Darby. 

Talking about how the show ‘Naked’ came to receive this international recognition and what sets it apart from other Indian stand-up comedy shows, Papa CJ said, “Naked is an autobiographical tale and a deeply personal show that I feel is a step change in my personal and professional growth. It straddles the genres of comedy, storytelling, theatre, poetry, improvisation and occasionally, lap dancing too! The show connects very well with both Indian and international audiences as human experience is the same for most of us. Every person in my audience at some point has gone through at least one of the emotions that I talk about in this show. I think it is this deep connect and the multi-genre format that has made the show unique and led to the recognition that it has received.

Papa CJ is also in discussion with several organisations on extending the show to the corporate event space and using it in management and leadership training. CJ, himself already runs workshops on what management and leadership can learn from stand-up comedy, where ‘Naked’ forms one of the modules. On what ‘Naked’ offers in such a context, Papa CJ added, “Naked offers the corporate space a show like no other. It is a show that at times involves talking about deeply intense and personal topics and yet as a performer requires me to be entertaining, interesting and funny without trivializing the issues or misrepresenting the depth of emotions – that is a very, very fine line. Aside from entertainment, both life and leadership lessons can be taken away from the show. It ties very well into the concept of Authentic Leadership and forms a great platform for initiating those discussions within an organisation or leadership programme”

Earlier this year ‘Naked’ was also the only solo English show from Asia to be invited to showcase at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Papa CJ was invited to the festival after his manager in London made a recommendation to the Festival Director. Talking about the honour of being invited to this festival, Papa CJ added, “Typically, Melbourne international acts have to apply to perform and the festival will approve the acts they want. However, ‘Papa CJ: Naked’ was invited and sponsored by the festival to come.” In November 2014 Papa CJ was also invited to Malaysia to receive the award for Asia’s Best Stand-up Comedian.

 

“It is this deep connect and the multi-genre format that has made the show unique” says Papa CJ en route to Edinburgh.

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