Bulletproof with Shazia Mirza (2 stars)

This article is from 2014

Bulletproof with Shazia Mirza

Weak, underdeveloped material let down this Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy show

Head count and pithy one liner about the proximity of audience to stage exhausted, this smart columnist and occasional funny lady begins. From the off, it’s a shaky opening premise. Mirza had to buy a bulletproof vest, you see, for a show she was doing in Pakistan. Sure, it’s a crazy – and at points extraordinary – story for down the pub but, truth be told, war-torn countries and the dangers lurking in them don’t afford a helluva lot of laughs.

Perhaps aware of this hitch, Mirza tries to direct the show in other directions which, due to a lack of funny follow-through, have limited effect. She meanders into some decent chat about her former life as a teacher (complete with obligatory Gove bashing) and the revelation that she was once asked to ‘Muslim it up’ by her former boss. A run-in with the Nigerian finance minister gets a quick giggle too, but there just isn’t enough development – on any of the wider issues – for the material to ever truly shine.

Her tales of woe about her Somalian tenants ramp things up a notch and inject some serious intent, but sadly, while her vest may be bulletproof, her material at times is not.

Assembly Rooms, 0844 693 3008, until 24 Aug (not 11), 5.15pm, £10 (£9).


  • 2 stars

Shazia Mirza Are words really dangerous? Can they hurt, offend and even kill you? What happens when you think you’re being hilarious and other people just think you are causing anarchy? Can a laugh save the day? What happens when you meet people who have no sense of humour at all, and no joke or situation can salvage…