Ahir Shah: Texture (3 stars)

Smart, adrenal, thespy show is a clever but often frantic set

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This article is from 2014.

Ahir Shah: Texture

Ahir Shah could probably write this review himself as he chucks in self-assessing jibes (mostly nailing it) all through his smart, adrenal, thespy show. A Cambridge graduate and one-time writer for Skins, he praises his own ‘linguistic verve’ and ‘exquisite structural callbacks’, adding that he’d make ‘a very funny lecturer’ but a ‘bad stand-up’. That last bit’s not true, but there are points where his pseudo-academic flourishes lose the crowd, only to draw them back with hyper-analyses of his Hinduism or close-knit Anglo-Indian family.

Constantly signposting and annotating his set, he knows it’s a mix of ‘the adult and juvenile’: he’s a 23-year-old Londoner living in Peckham Rye, who reads Stendhal but doesn’t understand Snapchat. Mixing laments about ‘being priced out of being a Londoner’, and feeling ‘otherised’ (he describes his appearance as ‘the physique of a man you could save for just £2 a month!’) he also buzzes between colonialism, binge drinking and the elephant god Ganesh.

It’s an intelligent, if still too-frantic set, but the shape of an intriguing comedian is definitely emerging. Shah’s eyes dazzle towards the few in the crowd laughing at his more obscure gags: ‘You will form the vanguard of my bloodless coup!’ Who could turn that down?

The Counting House, 667 7533, until 24 Aug, 5pm, free.

This article is from 2014.

Ahir Shah: Texture

  • 3 stars

Ahir Shah / Free Festival Using lyrical language, emotional frankness and funny jokes, alternative comedian Ahir Shah presents Texture: a stand-up show about moving house, romance, drinking, perception, deer, and other things of that nature. This year, he has performed a solo run at London's Soho Theatre and won the…

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