Published: Mon 5 Feb 24

Soho Theatre announces UK tour with top Indian comic, Kanan Gill

We’ve just announced a UK run for top Indian comic Kanan Gill, coming to London, Birmingham, Salford and Glasgow this May with his new show: What Is This?

We first introduced Kanan to London audiences in 2019 when he performed in Soho’s Comedy Tent as part of Diwali in the Square. He subsequently performed at Soho Theatre in Dean Street later that year and returned with a sold-out 2-week run in 2021. In 2024 Kanan kicks off his UK tour at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on Wednesday 15 May.


“You and Kanan are both tired of all his existential whinging – why are we here, what does it mean? Yuck. Who cares? How many specials can you try to dissect the fundamental nature of the human experience? Enough, right? Let’s party.

‘WHAT IS THIS?’ is about nothing at all. So far. But what does nothing mean? What is emptiness empty of? Are thoughts thieves in an empty house? Oh shut up dude, stop it.”

Kanan Gill is an Indian stand-up comedian who rose to fame with the YouTube series Pretentious Movie Reviews where he reviews flawed yesteryear Bollywood films. His partner-in-comedy, running this wildly popular series, is fellow stand-up comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath. The duo has stirred up a storm on YouTube with their over-the-top commentaries and super-funny personalities. They have reviewed popular movies such as Gunday, Hum Saath Saath Hain, Prem Aggan, and Aap ka Suroor, which earned them a large fan following in movie-crazy India.

Originally a software engineer, Kanan quit engineering to focus fully on his career as a comedian. From a young age Kanan was a funny kid who loved to joke around and play pranks. Born into a typical Indian family, there was no doubt he would one day pursue a conventional career that would guarantee stability. After high school he chose to study computer engineering though he never lost his love for comedy. During his college days he became a part of comedy bands and spent his leisure time writing silly songs. Once graduated, he took up a cushy job as a software engineer.

Rising awareness of him in India gained him the opportunity to work on an improvised sketch comedy show The Living Room on Comedy Central. He also co-hosted the YouTube FanFest India and was one of the main personalities behind the YouTube Comedy Hunt. Ambitious to achieve even more, Kanan ventured into Bollywood films in 2017 with a major role in the movie Noor starring Sonakshi Sinha.

Kanan went on to write Keep It Real for Amazon Prime Video which was released in 2017. Kanan also judged India’s first comedy reality show Comicstaan, along with top comedians in India: Abish Matthew, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Kaneez Surka, Kenny Sebastian, Naveen Richards, Sapan Verma, Sumukhi Suresh and Tanmay Bhat. Comicstaan was released on Amazon Prime Video in 2018 launching India’s upcoming comedians into the nascent yet growing stand up comedy industry. In 2018 Kanan along with fellow comedian Kenny Sebastian, co-wrote and created India’s one of a kind live sketch comedy show Sketchy Behaviour which toured across India and was later recorded for Amazon Prime Video and released in 2019.

Kanan has toured extensively across India and around the world in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Doha, Bangkok, Vietnam, the UK, The Netherlands, North America and Australia.