This article is from 2009.
Making stand-up look a little bit too easy
The title of Distracted Activist sums up Shappi Khorsandi’s predicament. As one of the few female comedians to get airtime, and an Iranian at that, she should be well versed on all debates that this inevitably enables. Khorsandi is certainly a compelling, thought-provoking speaker but, as she tells us via her personal history with causes, she’s a bit of a rubbish activist; and as a comedian, her material is too down-to-earth to be polemic. One routine, relating to a newspaper interview she did, attacks her own ego and it’s refreshing to see a comedian admitting to the self-centred nature of the business.
Khorsandi is uncomfortable with labels yet she does manage to get her political beliefs across, using a softly-softly approach as well as talk of motherhood and marriage. Her natural, conversational style is so easy to enjoy it makes you forget that stand-up is difficult, and her many digressions will have sharp and witty outcomes. This is not an obtusely political show, but a quietly cunning set from one of the undoubted top comics in the country.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 7.40pm, £11–£12 (£9.50–£10.50).