How stand-up comic Sumukhi Suresh is changing the narrative with her show Hoemonal

Sumukhi Suresh tells South First more about her show, her company Motormouth and what it's like to date in your 30s.

ByAnagha Maareesha

Published Oct 01, 2022 | 9:47 AMUpdatedOct 01, 2022 | 9:47 AM

Comedienne Sumukhi Suresh

Sumukhi Suresh’s stand-up show Hoemonal is exactly what her style of comedy stands for — it’s fresh, it’s relatable, it’s feminist and, of course, it’s ridiculously funny.

The multi-hyphenated comedian and actor, who was once called “India’s Tina Fey” by a leading publication, has won a Filmfare award for her ground-breaking web series Pushpavalli. She grabbed headlines last year for being part of BAFTA Breakthrough — a programme that showcases and supports creative talent globally.

“BAFTA Breakthrough was the kind of validation that tells you that, yes, you are on the right path. I think it’s given me clarity on what I wish to do,” the 34-year-old told South First.

As she brings Hoemonal to Bengaluru this weekend, we chat about comedy, dating in your 30s and what’s next in the pipeline for her career. And spoiler alert — it is brimming with projects.

With Hoemonal, Sumukhi is addressing topics that are close to her heart.

“Actually Hoemonal is two different shows. The first show that I’m doing at Jagriti Theatre (1 October) is different from the one I’m doing at Bangalore International Centre (2 October). There is only about a 20 percent overlap in the content of the two,” Sumukhi shares, adding, “The things I’m exploring in the first show are more funny, while the second one is more serious.”

The dating game

At the first show, the artiste will joke and share stories about things that she has not dealt with before. Light-hearted topics such as her hostel days or fun stories about her brothers, will make up the bulk of the conversation.

Sumukhi Suresh is holding two shows in Bengaluru. (Supplied)

Sumukhi Suresh is holding two shows in Bengaluru. (Supplied)

“I will also talk about the fact that I now have to start dating again, after the age of 30. I’m actually the worst type to be dating because I’m very ‘wife material.’ I think most women in this country are wife material because we were raised with that. So I’m like ‘wow great now I’ve to start dating again. What am I going to do?’ The show is a take on how bad I am at the dating game. And how I wish I could have gone the arranged marriage route. I’m actually really hoping for an arranged marriage but that’s also not working out!” she says with a laugh.

The second performance takes a slightly more weighty tone. And not something that many comedians in this country talk about openly, but is a very common and relatable topic of conversation among women.

“I think during the pandemic I went through a phase where I thought, ‘okay I’m going to meet my gynaecologist and sort out my reproductive and menstrual health.’ And that was simultaneously the worst and the best decision I ever took,” she explains.

The second performance of Hoemonal will touch on that. Sumukhi says she has fun seeing the audience react to her speaking on such subjects.

“I enjoy that a lot because no one really expects that to be in the show. The girls are, of course, enjoying it, but the boys are awkward sometimes. I tell them, ‘no no don’t worry. Just imagine this is a sci-fi game and you’ll enjoy it’,” the 34-year-old quips.

Home truths

Even though she hails from Nagpur originally, it is in Bengaluru that Sumukhi began her improv and stand-up journey. So to come here and perform, though she now lives in Mumbai, is very special. Does it still feel like home in some ways, we ask?

“Absolutely,” she raves, adding, “I am so excited, but nervous as well. You know when you leave home and come back after a long time. And you wonder what your folks will feel about you? That’s what this feels like. When I’m performing in Mumbai, suddenly a lot of Hindi slips in. I’ve also been writing a lot of shows and movies in Hindi. So for Bengaluru, I’m really keeping that in check. Bengaluru will always be home. I’m from Nagpur but comedy and performance wise this city will be home forever.”

At the end of October, Sumukhi is heading to London for three shows of Hoemonal in Soho Theatre. This will be her first time performing in the country and she is hoping for sold-out shows.

What’s next?

But of course what garnered her the biggest fan following was her web series Pushpavalli, in which she also took the lead. Fans of the Amazon Prime Video show have always hoped for another season, though Sumukhi says there will be no third installment. But we heard something about a spin-off of some much-loved characters.

“I’m definitely thinking of doing a spin-off for Vasu (a character played by fellow comedian Shraddha, known better by her stage name Aiyyo Shraddha). And I’m definitely looking to do something like a short film with Vidyuth and Pushpavalli. I think that will be cute. These are on my mind, but let’s see,” says the actress, who has also starred in the Kannada movie Humble Politician Nograj opposite Danish Sait.

But currently, Sumukhi has her hands full with her content platform Motormouth, through which the actor wants to create a space and voice for female content creators.

“On a very emotional level, Motormouth has given me direction. I want to build a legacy, I want to create shows or movies which last longer than me. The whole aim is that whatever we create is going to last longer than who created it,” says the actress.

The company has had its hands full this year. While Sumukhi is not divulging too much information, Motormouth has an upcoming college-themed show, an original movie for a leading OTT platform, and a movie with director Tushar Hiranandani (Saand Ki Aankh, 2019). Sumukhi is also taking the lead in an action-comedy series.

“This year has been very good. I want Motormouth to be a monetarily successful company. I want it to mean more and earn more,” she says.