Mawaan Rizwan: Gender Neutral Concubine Pirate

Quite why Mawaan Rizwan describes himself as a Gender Neutral Concubine Pirate remains a bit of a mystery throughout the show. He prances about the stage and over the audience in a brocade frock coat and skinny jeans with a distinctly piratical air, but there is no actual piracy to see. Frequently referring to his outfit as a dress, which it isn't, might be a hint to some gender neutrality, but it isn't exactly cutting edge gender blurring stuff.Concubine? Available for our pleasure perhaps. I'm not at all sure. The show seems based on an assumption that the audience will need no more than to be able to look at Rizwan in order to have a good time.

It is 50 minutes of absurdist, physical, unlinked episodes.

It is 50 minutes of absurdist, physical, unlinked episodes. We are treated to him repeating the word falafel twenty times or more (it feels like more), a treasure hunt for some baby wipes and then a song of praise for the baby wipes. A story about naked cycling through London is 6 years out of date and turns out to be just a description of cycling naked through London...

He is appealing to look at though, with a Jack Sparrowesque wig and make up, he owns the space around him and is at his best when getting up close and making audience members feel uncomfortable. There is a cheeky invitation in his smile and sideways eyelash flutters that keep you watching him, despite wondering when the hell it is all going to come together to make a show. A couple of funny visual jokes, physically mimicking a trampoline for example, raise a chuckle. A couple, such as the contactless debit card handshake, are also truly unfunny, The highlight though was a genuinely hilarious sketch of him playing a reluctant gas stove ignition switch to the direction of R Kelly's various versions of 'remix to ignition'. Trust me on this, it's one of the few moments that actually works start to finish.

Rizwan has created a brilliant stage presence and is a skilled physical clown, but the material just isn't good enough to match and this offering is a very hit and miss affair.

Reviews by Julia French

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The Blurb

Comedy's most seductive idiot is back. Part stand-up, part clowning, this anarchic hour will bring out the weirdo in you. Bring your own baby wipes. “An essentially mischievous performer, with a no-holds-barred physicality” (The Guardian)