Aliya Kanani: Where You From, From?

“Excuse me sir, would you mind if I gave this gentleman the free seat beside you?” says a keen and kind Aliya Kanani before the beginning of her sold-out show. I can’t help but smile back and push the seat towards her. Her manner reminded me of every air hostess I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t too surprising, then, when around half way into her set she reveals that she used to do exactly that. It makes me hope I wasn’t as much of an irritant for her as some of the people in her routine.

Kanani’s real strength in this set is turning her “otherness” into power

It makes me smile looking back on the notes I took for this show because about half a page is simply filled with words like “warmth”, “passionate” and “confident” among others. Coming on to the stage, Kanani immediately made everyone feel at ease. The set starts with what turned out to be one of my favourite moments of the hour – jokes about Edinburgh. These were jokes that, not only were funny, but most importantly, didn’t feel shoehorned in at the start of the show to make the audience feel validated. Everything felt so natural.

As the show progressed, Kanani’s “otherness” came to the forefront, and it was incredibly interesting, not only to learn about, but to laugh along with. The material really tested the audience’s limits of what was okay to laugh about and what wasn’t, at times feeling a bit like a social experiment. Kanani’s real strength in this set is turning her “otherness” into power. She has full control over how it is presented – usually with a mischievous smile – and how much truth is expressed. This is one of the major themes in a lot of her routines, and we as an audience have a lot of fun laughing along with the extrapolation of some of her answers to the question “where you from, from?”

Kanani’s delivery at times can be a little fast and some of the punchlines did get slightly lost in the speed, but it’s a small thing to work on. Her overly smiley, cheery nature worked well, especially with more serious jokes when the audience got so lost in those happy emotions, that when we did get hit with the intense punchlines, it was unexpected. This was used to great effect during the air hostess routine and I’m sure anyone in the room who has ever worked in retail could absolutely relate.

One thing I do remember feeling after seeing the show was a sense of joy I didn’t have before I arrived. We as an audience spent an hour coming together as a group not only to laugh, but to celebrate similarities and differences. The title of the show Where You From, From? may be an indicator of division but, through a brilliant hour of comedy, Aliya Kanani was able to unite us all together with that mischievous smile.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by James Macfarlane

Monkey Barrel Comedy

Tom Ward: Anthem

★★★★
PBH's Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth

Sam Nicoresti: Cancel Anti Wokeflake Snow Culture

★★★
Just The Tonic at the Caves

Chelsea Birkby: No More Mr Nice Chelsea

★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Sugar

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Sam Morrison: Sugar Daddy

★★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Tiff Stevenson: Sexy Brain

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

30 countries, 10 schools, 6 languages... so, where's she from? After selling out her show internationally, including at the Just for Laughs Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and FringeWorld in Perth, Canadian Academy Award-nominated actress and comedian, Aliya Kanani, is excited to bring her sought-after show for her Edinburgh Fringe debut! Aliya takes us on a turbulent journey around the world with tales of fitting in, sticking out and standing up. Her pleasant nature, combined with her fiery spirit will leave you energized and uplifted. 'Feel connected to humanity through humour' (FourthWallMedia.wordpress.com).

Most Popular See More

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets