Khorsandi is all you can hope for: a witty, positive, unique force not only on the comedy circuit in Britain, Khorsandi is also a writer and just last year published Nina is not OK, about growing up the ladette way in modern Britain. I started following Shappi many years ago on Radio 4: Iranian by birth and heritage, British by nurture, she is a very British voice, more British than the British. Her show is mainly centred on identity and the casual but nasty racism she is still subjected to despite 40 years in this country. This is England, the Clash, Joe Strummer’s voice warns us from the loudspeakers while we get into the venue, the Soho Theatre, a large number of small tables and chairs crammed all over the place. We can only manage two chairs glued to the stage, squeezed against the side wall. I realize my position makes me an easy target and promptly I am singled out just a few minutes into the show, my name gives me away, an Italian, coming here taking our seats at comedy shows…

Interestingly, one of her funniest story is about elephant memory Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party whom she met twice in her life. The first time as a young activist at a young homeless people event, Corbyn thought she was homeless and offered her a place to stay inadvertently causing a hilarious misunderstanding and just recently when Corbyn complimented her for having gone all that way and doing well for herself. Of course, just like during their first encounter, she did not inform him that she had never been homeless, just out of courtesy to him, in order not to embarrass him. If this is not totally British, I don’t know what is, she tells us over a pint of lager, of course. This is England…

28 January 2017: Shappi Khorsandi, From Morris Dancing to Morrissey, Soho Theatre, London

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