Busybody - Shazia Mirza interview

This article is from 2011.

Interview - Shazia Mirza

The comedian discusses being both a busybody and the go-to girl for Islam

As a female Muslim stand-up, Shazia Mirza would often find herself asked to comment on current affairs. Around 9/11 she was quoted left, right and centre but soon tired of being the go-to girl for Islam. ‘I always get people ringing up asking my opinion and always on things I don’t know about. I had someone asking for my opinion when Obama shot Osama. I’ve been asked what I think about Bin Laden’s porn collection. I know so much about Lady Gaga and I think, why don’t you ring me up and ask about her life?’

Having a distinct lack of interest in being nosy, it came as something of a surprise when Mirza was called a busybody at Heathrow airport. ‘The woman in front of me in the queue asked how much her suitcase could weigh and the woman at Virgin Atlantic said, “It’s 23 kilos”, I said, “I thought it was 30”. The Virgin Atlantic woman then said, “Can you wait your turn and stop being such a busybody.” That’s a word I’ve not heard since I was at primary school!’ Insulting as it may have been, at least it’s given her the title of her new show.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 6–28 Aug, 8.15pm, £10.50–£12.50 (£9–£11). Previews until 5 Aug, £5.

Shazia Mirza: Busybody

Shazia Mirza’s comedy is a unique blend. Her Pakistani parentage and Birmingham upbringing have resulted in a comedy rich in its diversity. Although her family are Muslim this is not a central to Shazia’s comedy, preferring a more general observational approach which also deals with her particular culture as a British…

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1. fua fumari17 Aug 2011, 10:30am 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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