I Am Not Malala (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

I Am Not Malala

Short but sweet set about identity from British Asian Muslim at Edinburgh Free Fringe

In 2012, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was shot after protesting the Taliban ban on girls attending school. Since then her visibility to the world has increased with TV appearances and a slew of international awards. Sadia Azmat takes a look at Malala’s reception by Western media and what it has done for the depiction of Asians in general, while grounding the exploration in her own experiences.

As a British / Asian Muslim, Azmat draws material from all aspects of her identity. Sometimes London comedians have trouble relating to Fringe audiences but she makes all aspects of her upbringing relatable to all. A lot of the ground covered is familiar – arranged marriages, headscarves, airport security and parental discipline – but by relating it always to her personal experiences (and aided by an immense likeability), it never feels hackneyed. She’s so sweet and unassuming that it’s all the more delightful when she slips in some profanity or deviates into more risqué material.

It’s a short set, topping out at around 35 minutes in which she barely pauses for breath. If you find yourself in the West End of Edinburgh and fancy watching a newer comedian find her feet, Sadia Azmat is lovely company.

Ryrie’s, 337 0550, until 24 Aug, 3.45pm, free.

I Am Not Malala

  • 3 stars

Sadia Azmat I Am Not Malala: The Girl Who Did Stand-up for Entertainment and Was Not Shot by the Taliban, sees Sadia return with her hilarious take on being an average British Asian - revealing what life's like when you can't live up to Malala. 'A very funny and promising new comedian' (Mark Lawson, BBC Radio 4).