Shazia Mirza - Multiple Choice

Shazia Mirza’s show begins fairly quietly with the usual audience foreplay. Then she moves into more personal material, talking about being a Pakistani Muslim with an Irish atheist boyfriend. Unsurprisingly this is something her parents have a hard time dealing with.The best section is the later part, where Mirza meets the Queen. She is invited to a gathering of 400 Indians at the Palace – but she is not Indian! The section on Prince Philip’s gaffe and her chat with the Queen are hilarious.Audience participation forms a key part of Mirza’s show. Picking on various members of the crow may make the performer feel dominant and secure – and I know how nervous they can be – but this was a small venue and it was substantially an older female audience. It probably didn’t settle them.However, I played my part in the settling. I was in the second row, and the old white coat I wear round the fringe was on my knees. Mirza took hold of this, took it on stage, commented on its lack of style and tattiness, tried on my cap, then, ‘Let’s see what he’s got in his pockets.’ Out came a bus ticket – ‘He’s very down to earth...’ Hand in again – and out came my press passes. ‘Oh, fuck – I’ve shot myself in the foot! He’s a reviewer,’ she said.At the end, a couple of women turned to me and asked if I was a plant or a real reviewer – the little scene had worked very well. No, no plant. And I didn’t own up to being from Birmingham, like Shazia Mirza, or to being half-Irish and an atheist – I didn’t want to steal the show! But I could be available for hire…This show is slow to build, but if you want a side-splitting encounter with royalty, this is definitely the place to be.

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The Blurb

Most people have a crush at 16, relationship by 32, sex in between. Not me and Susan Boyle allegedly. What happens when you don't follow the obvious path? 'The Lenny Bruce of female stand-up' (Metro).

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