Shazia Mirza (2 stars)

This article is from 2008.

Shazia Mirza

A stilted set about the big issues

A lot of Shazia Mirza’s material deals with her social awkwardness. Juggling the roles of devout daughter of fundamentalist Muslims and trailblazing female Muslim stand-up, she’s experienced her fair share of cultural dilemmas. But beyond the hype over her role as ‘an Asian woman who talks in public’, and no matter how eager we are to like her, her act rarely gets hotter than lukewarm.

As a comic giving rare insights into the racism, sexism and hypocrisy felt as a young British Muslim, her career deserves all the support it receives. So it seems a shame when, after eight years as a stand-up, she delivers a stilted set with watery gags about Ryanair and Facebook. There are a few moments when she goes off-script, and the relaxed, beaming comedian that steps in has the crowd in stitches. But when she reverts to her prim, defensive shtick, many of the jokes fall flat. With so much to say, she still doesn’t seem comfortable saying it.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug, 9.35pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8–£9).

Shazia Mirza

  • 2 stars

A stilted set about issues such as social awkwardness which only gets lukewarm. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.


1. fua fumari23 Aug 2011, 10:08am Report

sorry to say shazia's show was a disappointment.  her warm and friendly persona on stage didnt manage to reach beyond the coat and handbag she amusingly procured from 2 members of the crowd early on.  that said i had no idea why  a) the crowd were so elderly, and b) why shazia thought we were all guardian readers or whsmith customers.  it felt a bit like poor shazia had been either locked up for the last 20 years, or she hadnt bothered to prepare any specific material for this show. i waited for 45 minutes expecting her to launch into her new material, but it didnt happen.  her interplay with the audience was really good but she didnt listen to replies from the hungarian crowd in the back row, who she assumed were all scottish so that got lost in the dark somewhere.

some new material of any kind would have been really welcome.  she's great on stage and has a sweet rapport but this show was let down by old material and a weird obsession with the guardian and whsmith shops.

what's wrong with wearing a raincoat indoors anyway, even if you're not a man shazia?

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