Shappi Khorsandi: Mistress and Misfit

Shappi Khorsandi returns to the Fringe for 2017 with her new show Mistress & Misfit, a touching hour of comedy that weaves narratives from her own life and the story of Emma, Lady Hamilton best known as the mistress of Lord Nelson (of the Trafalgar Square variety for those who don’t listen to Radio 4). If jokes about the sorry state of Westminster and being born between 1985 and 1995 are getting you down, you’ll find a remedy in Khorsandi’s totally original set.

It isn’t laugh-out-loud funny but it’s consistently chortle-worthy.

If you’re anything of a history nerd, even a passing interest will do, you’ll find this show a satisfying enough way to pass an hour at the Fringe. The life of Emma Hamilton is an interesting one, and shines a light on a pre-Industrialisation Britain that I, for one, found fascinating. Combined with this Khorsandi’s natural verve and charm as a comedian and it is entertaining and enlightening in equal measure.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this show, it isn’t laugh-out-loud funny but it’s consistently chortle-worthy. Despite Khorsandi doing her best to pretend she isn’t, the show really works on a middle-age, middle-class audience – it’s all very sweet and tally-ho. The stories about her life are for the most part quaint with only a dash of the rebel inside her. If broadly speaking this describes you, and you have enjoyed Shappi in the past then this show is on-brand and you’ll love it. If you’re drunk and looking for smut, then perhaps pass this one by.  

Reviews by Millie Bayswater

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The Blurb

Shappi presents England's unsung heroine. For too many years she has been known as just Nelson's mistress, a bit of a harlot (you get one job in a brothel and bang goes your reputation). Women's lib wasn't a thing in Georgian times: Emma moved mountains to haul herself from scullery maid to Lady Hamilton. Yes, she occasionally danced naked on tables to get ahead in life, but who hasn't? As a fellow naked dancer on tables, Shappi is inspired by Emma, although she never wants hair big enough to house mice in.