Immigrant Diaries – Sajeela Kershi and Guests

Immigrant Diaries, devised and hosted by comedian Sajeela Kershi, is a ‘true storytelling show,’ with an emphasis on the stories. Post-Brexit and Trump, this show feels more necessary than ever, and the quote above demonstrates why. It is a perfect example of the need for human stories amidst the bland statistics and inflamed rhetoric surrounding topics like immigration, integration, marginalisation and identity. This show reminds us of the key to great storytelling – giving the microphone, the agency, the control of the narrative, to the voices that need to be heard.

Immigrant Diaries feels like an antidote to the chaos of 2017 – a positive hour of expert storytelling sure to enlighten and entertain.

It is a very simple premise: a rotating line-up of comedians and storytellers join Kershi on stage to tell their personal narratives of immigration. She guides us through the show with warmth and charisma, warming up the audience and opening with some personal stories before handing over to her guests.

I can only review the performers I saw, but all three – Spring Day, Craig Quartermaine and Jimmy O. Yang – were excellent. They covered a huge range of subjects; from ableism in Japan to U.S. border patrol, via the history of Aboriginal communities in Australia. Enormous credit must go to Kershi for assembling such a diverse and intersectional show, really emphasising the particularities of immigrant experiences. Immigrant Diaries offers us a chance to hear stories we would never usually encounter. Even ignoring the absolutely hilarious jokes, which justify the ticket price alone, these stories are simply fascinating.

After all, as the show reminds us, if you go back far enough we’re all immigrants. Kershi must be commended for devising a show that never allows us to lose sight of this. Regardless of the line-up, funny, honest, politically engaged stories are guaranteed. Immigrant Diaries feels like an antidote to the chaos of 2017 – a positive hour of expert storytelling sure to enlighten and entertain.  

Reviews by Naoise Murphy

The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Immigrant Diaries – Sajeela Kershi and Guests

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Twayna Mayne: Black Girl

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Romantic Encounters in a Darkened Room

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Multi award-winning show returns post-Brexit/Trump anti-immigration/refugee rhetoric blamed for the rise of hate crimes in the past year. Time to readdress the balance, so who exactly are these 'bloody foreigners' anyway? Irrespective of which side of the debate you sit, this show is for all. A chance to hear from a rotating line-up, some sublime true stories from a multicultural Fringe full of performers from somewhere else. Statistics don't tell the story, people do. 'Catch it at all costs' ***** (RemoteGoat.com). 'Should be available on prescription' ***** (Argus). 'Empowering' ***** (AsianCultureVulture.com).