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Olga Koch on her Prawn Cocktail India tour


Olga Koch
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“Funny is the thing I value most in other people and funny is what I’m most proud of myself. And I think that’s why I do comedy too, because I think funny,” says Olga Koch, who was in Bengaluru recently.

Originally from Russia, the stand up comic who now lives in the United Kingdom, says, “When I was younger I didn’t know stand up could be a job. There wasn’t a natural career path to it — it’s not like you can go to university to study to be one,” she laughs.

“It is not so much that I wanted to be a comedian, but more that the family that I was raised in and my friends saw me make my way in this field.”

Olga Koch on her Prawn Cocktail India tour

Olga Koch on her Prawn Cocktail India tour
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

A look at any of her shows online is testament to what she says. Olga’s brand of humour stems from herself (her surname effortlessly lends itself to a lot of her material), her family and those around her, expanding outwards to encompass her surroundings and audience.

The artiste who first visited India in 2023, says, “I honestly enjoyed it even more the second time. I absolutely love Bengaluru — I went to CTR for dosas. I also visited a Jain temple and KR Market.” Olga was in Mumbai and Bengaluru as part of her Prawn Cocktail tour.

“For my first show in India last year, I presented some of the best jokes of my career. I also added some crowd work and off-the-cuff material. This time, I performed Prawn Cocktail, a show I debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and went on to do all over Northern Europe.”

“Prawn Cocktail is based on a storytelling format which is an hour long. It has a beginning, middle and end, and follows a narrative structure that I have put a bunch of jokes into,” says the comedienne, who will shortly be taking the show to Australia and New Zealand.

Olga Koch

Olga Koch
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

What of the show’s catchy title? “I got my first ever tattoo at the age of 30 and it was a prawn; it gains significance over the course of the show,” she says.

Talking about her process and the raw material for her work, Olga who grew up in the United Kingdom says, “I went to an American school in the UK so I sound American; I’m sort of a melting pot of cultures.”

“The second you start doing stand up as an outsider — you have this very specific outsider point of view which makes it easier to go international. If from the outset, I write stuff about the UK as an outsider, when I do those jokes in India or elsewhere, it makes sense because my listeners are outsiders too.”

According to Olga, a lot of UK-based stand ups she looks up to such as Lara Ricote, Janine Harouni and Sara Barron write material as outsiders. “Lara has a Mexican heritage, while Janine is of Lebanese-American origin and Sara is an American. I believe having lived in another culture, it comes more naturally to us to see things as outsiders. We know how to speak to people from a different culture in a way they can relate.”

Olga Koch on her Prawn Cocktail India tour

Olga Koch on her Prawn Cocktail India tour
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The biggest message Olga wants to spread “is telling the world to go out and see live comedy.”

“I used to be a fan of comedy on TV and YouTube. But the second I saw live comedy I realised that there is nothing like it. A recorded clip does not communicate even a tenth of the electricity you experience live. The sort of electricity that’s created by both the audience and the performer never compares to a clip. Besides, some jokes are only funny if you’re in the room. So if you think you like comedy, but you’ve only ever seen it recorded, you are in for a treat when you go see it live,” she says.

For updates on Olga’s shows and events log on to rocknrolga.com

Olga Koch

Olga Koch
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement



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