REVIEW: Shappi Khorsandi – Oh My Country

reviewer: demi west
upstaged rating: 

Shappi Khorsandi’s ‘Oh My Country!’ tour hit the stage at the Lowry Theatre in Salford for the final destination of 2016. The comedian and author, who continues to tour through 2017, celebrates her 40th year in Britain by expressing her love for her adopted land through a series of comedic, satirical anecdotes.

The supporting comedian Tom Lucy made sure that the audience was ready for Shappi with his dry, awkward humour, and interaction with the crowd. Lucy’s humour, driven by conversation with audience members, resulted in the crowd emitting spouts of laughter at the comedian’s unorthodox approach to comedy. Despite Tom being just nineteen, he delivered his jokes with confidence, succeeding in warming the audience up and leaving me wanting to see more.

Shappi took us on a journey and started the show with how she came to be in the UK, and ending it with tales from more recent times, including the clashes of culture between her two young children. This throughline runs throughout the show, often coming back to her children who both carry characteristics of their mothers cultural heritage. If you are someone who has followed Shappi throughout the duration of her career, you will know that anecdotes concerning her children are something that feature frequently throughout her shows. Nevertheless, the ongoing theme of culture and identity offers something fresh to longstanding fans, who are used to the idea of culture popping up occasionally, but not completely driving a show.

The linear narrative worked well, as it gave the show consistency and told Shappi’s story of embracing and accepting both sides of her heritage. This gave the show a personal touch, but could often lose its comedic effect, with some anecdotes coming to an end with no punchline at all. However, this did help to set the overall tone of the show, which was mainly concerned with nationality and what it means to be British.

The show did seem to be significantly lower on comedy than Shappi’s other performances and was motivated by stories rather than her usual material. Regardless of this new approach, the show still offered some of Shappi’s best jokes, expressed in her usual theatrical style.

Whether you are new to Shappi or have followed her career for a while, ‘Oh My Country!’ offers something fresh and enjoyable for all types of audience members. For me, Oh My Country is arguably one of Shappi’s most intimate and personal tours yet.

-Demi West

Shappi Khorsandi’s -Oh My Country continues to tour through 2017. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

REVIEW – Shappi Khorsandi: Because I’m Shappi (The Lowry) (1)
Date: 11 APRIL 2015
Upstaged Rating: 

Shappi Khorsandi bounds on to the stage, sparkling like the sequinned trainers she wears and informs us that she is going to do her own warm-up – she quickly adds, “Times are hard.”

The aptly entitled show ‘Because I’m Shappi’ is uplifting and refreshing – it is not often you see a stand-up show which is built on happiness, a reflection on the good things in life and a celebration of the characters who have contributed to her stand-up career. It is clear to see that Shappi is a comic who loves her life on and off stage and she is happy when she is performing.

I can relate to Shappi- a mother of 2 children herself – she is proud and fearlessly independent, she is also highly likeable, mischievous and charming. During her warm-up act for ‘Big Shappi’ she handles her diverse Mancunian crowd with a razor sharp wit. She chats with a bride-to-be about how much she loathes hen parties and chocolate cocks and then starts to play a giant game of snap with her audience. And when she looks on edge and tells us that she is confiding in us, things that she has never divulged before – we believe her.

The whole show feels quite free-flowing and relaxed, with tales about childhood friends and family, Twitter trolls and internet porn while pregnant. We feel as though we are a confidant listening to a friend – Shappi’s tone is warm, engaging and conversational. Although, occasionally the material does feel a little too free-flowing and in covering such wide ranging subject matter, there didn’t always seem to be a main strand to follow and sometimes fluidity lacked as she jumped from one topic to another.

On leaving Shappi Khorsandi’s show I feel hopeful – her humour is infectious and refreshingly truthful- she fizzes energy and she is a charming and compelling entertainer. It seems that everyone in the theatre, including Shappi, has enjoyed themselves and that’s the most important thing.

-Kristy Stott

Shappi Khorsandi continues her show ‘Because I’m Shappi’ at The Ropetackle Arts Centre on Friday 24th April and she continues to tour the UK through May and June 2015. For more dates please click here.