Isma Almas stands-up in burka

This article is from 2009.

Isma Almas

Family life and experiences of racism inform a stand-up debut

When Isma Almas first appeared on the northern English comedy circuit she cut a striking figure. Partly because she opened her set wearing a full burka, but also because, as a Muslim woman, her choice of subject matter in poking fun at the religious attire was firstly brave and ultimately very sharply written.

So the debut Fringe show (Isma Almas Bombs) by the full-time mother and social worker is clearly something to look forward to. Almas intends to take themes from that early material in addition to talking a little more about her life and family. ‘We came from Pakistan to a council estate in Bradford and I’ll be elaborating on that and talking more about racism and my experiences growing up here. Plus the twists and turns that my life took as an adult that I’d never predicted would happen.’

Though they’ll feature strongly in her show, the family aren’t likely to be allowed to see it. ‘They’re going to be coming up to Edinburgh for a week to stay with me but I’d be mortified if they came to the show. I swear and I can be a bit rude,’ she laughs. ‘I’d be under pressure to be on my best behaviour and not do any of that material.’

The Stand III & IV, York Place, 0131 558 7272, 7–30 Aug (not 17), 2.35pm, £7 (£6). Preview 6 Aug, 5pm, £6 (£5).

Isma Almas Bombs

  • 3 stars

'A one-woman antidote to Islamophobia' (Leeds Guide). Buckle up for this hilarious cultural extravaganza of a white knuckle comedy ride. One of the most original and charming circuit comedians expertly annihilates whole herds of sacred cows.

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