Isma Almas: About A Buoy (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Isma Almas: About A Buoy

credit: Andy Hollingworth

Fearless performer delivers a moving show

Life didn't give Isma Almas the easiest option when it made her a gay Pakistani Muslim. But now she's a little older, she's content to be herself and is happily giving lots back with her social-worker career path and by adopting a child, picked specifically because of the shocking stats on adopting boys of African descent.

Almas' story is a moving one, and in parts she relates her tale with tears visibly welling in her eyes. She's an incredibly warm performer, oozing likeability and easy charm. But she's also not one to shy away from a tricky or uncomfortable topic either; when she first started to perform stand-up she would appear on stage in a burka. Here she revisits incidents of horrific racism from her own 70s childhood in Bradford where her teacher at school bullied her or the incident of outright bigotry on the NHS when she had her tonsils taken out.

Nor is she afraid of a close-to-the-bone gag, such as when she compares adoption to a household task or examining whose culture is the best of all in the Indian sub-continent. A gently funny hour that is high on passion.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 26 Aug (not 12), 2.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).

Isma Almas: About a Buoy – Adventures in Adoption

  • 3 stars

Lee Martin for Gag Reflex Isma is British multiculturalism at its best. In About a Buoy – Adventures in Adoption, her preconception-shattering, down-to-earth and engaging style, explores transracial adoption, gender, religion, sexuality, race, one homophobic Muslim mother and Freddie Mercury. As seen on BBC Asian Network…