- Claire Sawers
- 21 August 2008
This article is from 2008.
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.
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