Laugh your heart out to an award-winning besharam (shameless) line-up of Indian, Pakistani and South Asian comedians living in Australia. No topic is too taboo. From growing up brown in Australia to getting divorced and disowned thrice, these women won’t be holding back. Your parents probably won’t approve as you trauma bond watching these six women turn family expectations into comedy gold.
Brown Women Comedy is going on a National Tour in 2024 to Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne! After our success at Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2023 we’re hitting the road. We’ll be at Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Comedy Festival. Follow us on Instagram for updates.
BWC Media Reviews
Out of the 500-plus shows at the comedy festival, I counted only eight brown women – and six of them are here,” exclaims Daizy Maan, producer of Brown Women Comedy and the show’s concluding act. There’s a well-documented gender disparity in the comedy industry, but there’s a race problem too – a double whammy for women of colour.
But if you’re solely expecting jokes about the idiosyncrasies of brown parents and the weight of unmet cultural expectations, Brown Women Comedy isn’t for you. It touches on some of those things, yes, but so much more – sex, mental health, queerness, divorce.
Brown Women Comedy is on at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre until April 12.
Having just completed her own run of shows, Urvi Majumdar starts the show off strong, charming the audience with humorous stories and a standout response to the trite question “Where are you from?” Poet-in-a-former-life Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa illustrates the differences between Melbourne and Perth in Bollywood songs and reveals the real reason she doesn’t like Rupi Kaur.
Activist and influencer Moose Jattana bounds onto the stage to deliver a candid and uproarious stream-of-consciousness set on the most taboo topics of the night (to the brown parents, anyway): being bi (bisexual, bipolar, bilingual); orgasms; STIs; and suicide. In contrast, Sydney-based comedian and podcast host Kripa Krithivasan’s more gentle set touches on veganism, shedding the expectations of being the eldest brown daughter, and in one particularly memorable bit, the limited role models brown women have.
Pakistani-Canadian comedian Amna Bee’s deadpan, wry style segues unexpectedly into masturbation and a great bit on how she broke the news of her divorce to her parents. Maan rounds off the show with a relatable routine on the pseudoscience practised by brown parents that has the audience laughing in recognition. – Reviewed by Sonia Nair, The Age.
‘The Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Brown Women Comedy night was an evening packed full of laughter. Amna Bee, Sunanda, Urvi Majumdar, and Swati Vats tackled South Asian taboos and brought big belly-laughs as they navigated everything from all-girls schools to Pakistani-Indian relations. Each comic delivered a tight routine showcasing their unique observations of the realities of being a brown woman to an audience who responded knowingly and uproariously’ – Maya Pilbrow, Editor at SAARI Collective.
‘Without going into all the structural, systemic, cultural and patriarchal challenges we face, life can be a pretty serious affair when you’re trying to live your best life as a brown woman. So, being in a room where we can listen to relatable stories and then giggle and laugh it all out together is doing a massive community service to all of our wellbeing! Thank heavens for Brown Women’s comedy, more please!’ – Leah Vandenberg, Actor and Activist.
‘Brown Women Comedy’ Is The Shake-Up To Australia’s Comedy Scene That’s Well Overdue – Alicia Vrajlal, Draw Your Box.
Our Line Up 2023
For our 2024 line-up visit our new dedicated Brown Women Comedy website
Amna Bee is a Melbourne-based comedian, hailing originally from Pakistan and Canada. She started out in a small outback town in Australia and has since performed all around the country and in major festivals. Her solo, debut show premiered at the 2021 Melbourne International Comedy Festival with a sold-out run and rave reviews. She’s known for her wit, dry humour and deadpan style.
“[Amna has] a wicked sense of humour that’s instantly engaging” – Time Out
“Very very funny” – The Plus Ones
Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa is all set to make you laugh-cry with her unique flair for storytelling. Filled with intimate and hilariously uncomfortable stories ready to unveil… the real Sukhjit. Her passion for storytelling began as a finalist in the Australian Poetry Slam and semi-finalist on Australia’s Got Talent.
Her work as a writer, performer, theatre-maker, filmmaker and producer for the last ten years has been recognised by many fancy and reputable organisations whose names take up too much word count but all you need to hear is that Kelly Osbourne said “I bow down to you and your braveness”.
Urvi Majumdar is a comedian, writer, actor and producer. She has performed to sold-out crowds at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival and Melbourne Writers’ Festival. You can see Urvi in Channel 9’s comedy series Metrosexual and hear her often in guest spots on Triple R Radio. Urvi is a regular writer for Channel 10’s The Project. She is also a Creative Producer for Footscray Community Arts where she programs Creative Workshops, the Footscray Laughs series and their new schools program.
“Majumdar’s tales of growing up with a unique name and being the non-favourite sibling left many audience members cackling in agreement!’ – RMITV
‘The future of stand-up is in good hands’– The Plus Ones
Daizy Maan’s TikTok videos have garnered more than 25 millions views for being hilarious and calling out sexism in Punjabi music and, well… Punjabi men. Outside of her secret Tik Tok channel, Daizy had a real day job running startup programs aka helping clever kids build startups, get rich and go to the moon.
As the producer of Brown Women Comedy, she’s passionate about amplifying the voices of South Asian women. And now she’s tired of helping white men get richer so she’s encouraging brown women to be poorer by becoming comedians and joining them on that journey to below minimum wage.
Clearly hilarious in Punjabi, Daizy’s giving English a crack this year as she optimistically enters unemployment.
Comedian, dancer and podcast host Kripa Krithivasan is famous, but no one knows it yet. Kripa has loved the stage ever since her vacay in the womb, having grown up dancing and translating her love of performing into spoken word poetry in 2016.
She began her stint in stand-up comedy in 2020, emerging into the Sydney comedy scene slowly but surely – before starting a podcast that works to platform stories of diverse voices at @unculturedpod.
When she’s not being funny or dancing, Kripa is trying very hard to finish off her law degree before the grey hairs start setting in.
Brown Women Comedy 2022
In 2022, we launched Brown Women Comedy, Melbourne’s first comedy show featuring a line up of South Asian Female Comedians. While we weren’t sure whether there was a demand for such a show we knew we had created something special when both our shows sold out a week in advance. Our wonderful comedians included Sunanda, Urvi Majumdar, Amna Bee and Swati Vats.