Shappi Khorsandi


27 March 2015


It should be safe to assume that Iranian-born, British comedian Shappi Khorsandi is filling a token niche for Iranian comics at the moment, where only Omid Djalili perhaps succeeds in filling this Middle Eastern opening within the UK comedy circuit. However, Khorsandi’s multi-cultural vibe would play a secondary role in tonight’s performance at the Citizen’s Theatre in Glasgow. The show entitled “Because I’m Shappi” (presumably a play on Pharrell Williams’ annoyingly catchy hit ‘Happy’ from last year) was a welcome return for the comedienne who never performed a single gig during 2013. It would be unfair to criticise Khorsandi for this absence after relentlessly exhibiting her blend of absurdity on various tours since the late nineties, coupled with the paltry matter that she was detained from our viewing pleasure, giving birth. The role of the single mother and the way that families interact were central themes which flowed throughout the evening, and one which the audience would lap up.

Shappi Khorsandi 2012

The opening segment of Khorsandi’s performance was  executed witty reflections of Hen nights and the competitive cliques that materialise between friends from childhood, employment, and academic backgrounds. After a slow start to the second half considering personal issues ranging from flirting in supermarkets to family disorder, Khorsandi began to find her stride. No longer relying on audience responses to fill in small gaps, the comic’s musing of sex after divorce, during pregnancy, and other methods of gratification, had the audience savouring every anecdote and quip about her very personal encounters. Few names were censored; even fewer stories were spared.

After the love-in, attention was drawn towards social networking trolls and the hypocrisy of far right supporters living in the UK. Khorsandi’s intelligent knack for broaching ugly subjects and then slaying them with her sparkling wit is a remarkable lesson in comedic timing and demonstrated exactly why she has become a regular face on our screens. This stroll into shady territory continued in astute opinions concerning immigration and hostilities, using her father as the focal point for both the targeting of, and solution to, racism. Although our entertainer for the evening portrays herself as a screwy aunt teaching herself how to “talk to young people again”, it becomes apparent that there are depths that she has still to absorb – and strengths which led to an increased response from the audience as the night moved to a close.

With another gig across town at The Stand Comedy Club awaiting her, Khorsandi thanked the generous Glasgow crowd for their good spirits before departing. The Magners Comedy Festival may perhaps see better comics across the city tonight, but very few will endear themselves throughout the course of the evening as well as Shappi Khorsandi managed to.

Reviewer : Stephen Watt

Richard Herring : Lord of the Dance Settee

The Stand, Edinburgh
18th March 


Comedian, writer, blogger, podcaster and writer of a weekly column in the metro since 2012. This is Richard Herring’s  11th solo showin 11 years. It lacks any particular theme unlike his earlier offerings on politics (Hitler’s Moustache), religion (Christ on a Bike), death (We’re all going to die) and love (What is love, Anyway?) Herring casts, rather than his customary breakneck speed in previous shows. He seems more comfortable with himself and his role “I’m not a failed rock star, I’m a failed comedian.”

This show is pulled together with ease, Herring’s experience as a performer glowing well throughout, looking backwards and forwards whilst wondering if his best is behind him or yet to come. There’s always a place for daftness and Herring seems to have found his. He’s now bouncing around using his sofa as a trampoline whilst pondering his own mortality. Seriously good fun ★★★★

four stars
Reviewer : Angela Nisbet

Gilded Balloon Comedy

The Studio @ Festival Theatre, Edinburgh


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The Gilded Balloon is 30 this year and it’s great to see it expand its offerings outside of the festival.  Edinburgh’s burgeoning comedy seen has seen a host of new comedy night’sspringing up to complement The Stands stalwart presence.  Most of these nights are pub-based, grass roots affairs, but this, at the Festival Theatres new space, The Studio is of a different ilk, welcoming professional circuit comics, rather than comedic bairns and journeymen.Tonight’s bash is ably compered by likable Lancashire lass and faux-ditsy Katie Mulgrew who prises for openings in the audience and unearths  courting couples and tired lifers which provides great continuity throughout the show.  It’s hard to tell if she contributed to Catherine and Rufus’ breakup or sealed their nuptials.

Opening act is affable Irishman and silver fox Michael Redmond.  You might recognise those eyebrows as Father Teds dour Father Stone.   Redmond’s stand up is top drawer and he doesn’t rely on his comedy CV to get the laughs, his Irish lilt and relaxed demeanour draws you in then he’ll hit you with the gag.  He’s not afraid of heckles and woe betide you if you do as he’s wittier than you.  You shall be crushed!  Effortless set and the crowd lap up his deadpan style (apart from the Nippy Fip the heckler).

Glaswegian Scott Gibson follows with a typically bare knuckles set just before the watershed.  He had me ending myself at his observations on the serious matters of:out of fashion sexual acts and what happened to which dog shite?  Oh and switches inside your bum that make you do strange things.  He doesn’t take any prisoners and some of the brutally delivered material made the women sitting next to me shift uncomfortably in her seat but, like the vast majority of the packed house.  I loved him.

Our Mancunian headliner, Justin Moorhouse is familiar to many of us from his role as Young Kenny in Peter Kays Phoenix Nights.In the intervening 15 years he has made a name for himself on the stand-up circuitas well as appearing on Live at the Apollo and even Coronation Street!  He even won Celebrity Mastermind (Specialist subject Les Dennis).  Justin’sself-deprecating material is drawn from hisassumed role as a pessimistic bored husband and father who wishes things were different.  Themes which many people can identify with and his solid material hits the spot although he seemed to wander his way through the last few minutes of his slot, perhaps trying out new material.  We’ll let him off with that as he had us laughing the rest of the time.

A night of quality comedy such as this is rarer than white dog shite.

Reviewer :  David McCaramba

Comedian Rap Battles

Wednesday’s at the Stand

Doors 7.30pm, Show 8.30pm,

Tickets £6/£4

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The Mumble loves the Wee Man, one of Weegielands radgest comedians, he puts the knife into places comedy daren’t go, twists it about a bit, pulls out the entrails & rolls it up into a big, fat doobie. On Wednesday’s, at the Glasgow Stand, he becomes the MC for the ever-variable, ever-funny rap-battles – which comes across a bit like Eminem on ketamine.

Each night, the four semi-finalists get five minutes to do their stuff, warming up the audience & evidently, themselves, for they are very much out of their comfort zone. After each pair have finished, they square-off against each other for two rounds of bullet-spitting hip-hop. The performances vary much in assurity & quality, feeling a bit like when your Uncle Jeff starts dancing at a wedding – but the awkwardness just adds to the comedy.

After the final, the Wee Man judges who the laurels of victory should go to on audience reaction, with tonight’s winner being Chris MacArthur-Boyd, the reigning champion no less, another wee lad who beat local comedy hero, Obie, to the podium. But really, the only winner is comedy, who manages to find warmth & hilarity humour in every crevice of society – even gangsta rap!

Reviewer : Damo Bullen