After another set of sold-out shows at Soho Theatre in London this week, Mumbai-based comedian Urooj Ashfaq has announced her first UK-wide comedy tour starting in January 2024.
Ashfaq, 28, has been on a roller-coaster ride since she became the first Indian to win the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s prestigious Comedy Newcomer Award for the first time in its 40-year history back in August. Ahead of the UK-wide tour covering Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, Coventry, Manchester, Bristol, Milton Keynes, Birmingham and Leeds, her warm and relatable stand-up show entitled ‘Oh No!’ completes a Soho Theatre run this weekend – when tickets for her UK tour will go on sale.
“Urooj is one of India’s most sought-after comics, writers and actors and a promising talent amongst the current crop of young artists emerging from the South Asian comic landscape. With material strong in Gen Z energy, the fast-talking, quick-thinking creative powerhouse is an endearing presence onstage with her candid and engaging content,” Soho Theatre said in a statement.
In her taboo-busting show, Ashfaq reflects on cultural differences, her experiences in therapy, her parents’ divorce and concludes by reading excerpts from her childhood diaries – sharing laughter-inducing sentiments that have universal coming-of-age echoes.
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Born in Dubai, Urooj moved to Mumbai at the age of 12. She started performing at open-mic nights at 21, becoming a regular in Mumbai’s young, rapidly growing comedy scene. She cites international stars like Sarah Silverman, Bridget Christie, Phoebe Waller Bridge, Josie Long and James Acaster as her creative heroes. Her boundary-pushing humour and disarming charm have led to a loyal and growing fan base on her home turf in India and since her Edinburgh Fringe award, an equally growing impact in the UK.
Mark Godfrey, Executive Director of Soho Theatre, said: “Huge congratulations to Urooj, who becomes the first India-based artist to be nominated – and now to win – in the award’s 40-year history. We are thrilled for her success, delighted to be working with her and with many hugely talented performers from India, and closely with our partners OML.”
Rishabh Nahar, Senior Vice President of OML Entertainment, said: “Urooj’s show is on par with any other internationally acclaimed show. We’re ecstatic to have been a part of this journey, and can’t wait to see Urooj take over global stages.”
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As London’s leading producer of Indian comedy and works with artists of South Asian heritage from around the world, Soho Theatre also has a pair of Indian comedians – Abishek Kumar and Nirmal Pillai – showcasing their experimental ‘The Reel to Real – Crowd Work Tour’ in London this week.
*Info: Soho Theatre