Reviews

  • 28 January 2016

    Tour 2016- Mail on Sunday
    4**** Mail on  Sunday review of 'The Kardashians Made Me Do It'
    PDF version of 'Tour 2016- Mail on Sunday'
  • 21 January 2016

    TOUR 2016- The Telegraph 2015- The Kardashians Made Me Do It

    Edinburgh 2015: Shazia Mirza, A Work in Progress, The Stand, review: 'brave and urgent'

    4 ****

    Dominic Cavendish, Theatre Critic 12 August 2015

    She introduced herself to audiences, and made a name for herself, in the wake of 9/11 by saying: "My name's Shazia Mirza - at least, that's what it says on my pilot's licence." Now, as another blood-red wave of Islamist terrorism breaks across the world, this plucky Muslim comedian is provoking laughter and large intakes of breath once again; this time scoffing at jihadi brides and inveighing against Isil.

     

    She doesn't mince her words, expressing incredulity that so many people, David Cameron included, have done so much soul-searching on behalf of the nation as to the motives of the Bethnal Green Academy (which she dubs a ‘Jihademy') runaways.

     

    It's got nothing to do with religion, she avers. "They think they've gone on a Club 18-30 holiday to Ibiza... they're not religious, they're horny."

     

    It should be obvious what they're after, and it's dangling between the legs of the fanatics. "As barbaric as they are, they [Isil] are hot". The absconders are "looking for a Halal version of Brad Pitt". We shouldn't treat the teen rebels with kid gloves: "don't let them come back!"

     

    Will Mirza, 35, get targeted for being so outspoken? She's been the subject of abuse and threats in the past after talking about her strict upbringing in Birmingham and dating Muslim men. And she sticks her neck out here as never before here in a closing section that suggests - citing a translation of Hadith number 557 - that the Prophet foresaw and condemned such a group. Closing with grim video footage, she leaves you in no doubt that there's a war on, and she's willing to stand-up and be counted in the fight against the killers.

     

    Given the bravery and urgency of the material, you're inclined to overlook the fact that she loses momentum midway in by over-stating the same points. Doubtless she will tighten the show before it moves to the Tricycle, where it will be titled The Kardashians Made Me Do It (she wanted to call it The Road to al-Baghdadi, after the Isil leader, but the theatre got cold feet). Besides, if she's merciless on religious extremism she's equally unforgiving about politically correct liberalism, entertainingly laying into those who would pigeon-hole or patronise her talents. "These days as a Muslim woman you get awards just for leaving the house," she quips at the start. Don't give her an award, then. Just give her your time.

     

    Until Aug 30. Tickets: 0131 558 7272; thestand.co.uk; then at the Tricycle, London (020 7328 1000)

    24 Sept to 3 Oct;Tricycle.co.uk

     

  • 08 October 2010

    Daily Record Review

    Shazia's style wins plenty of praise
    Shazia Mirza The Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh October 5 2010
    4 stars ****

    Not long after the events of September 11, Shazia Mirza started her comedy career.

    Back then, the British- born Muslim woman would open her gigs by saying "My name is Shazia Mirza. At least that what it says on my pilot's licence."

     

    It was a great, shocking line that grabbed the attention of the audience and won the rookie comic a lot of headlines.

     

    The problem was that back in the early years of the new millennium, that one liner was Shazia's strongest gag and the rest of her early sets would seem disappointing in comparison.

     

    Switch to the present day and her set is packed with punchy gags that have the audiene gasping.

     

    Most of her material comes from her own life and Shazia mocks her own background with a directness that most of her fellow comics would not dare go near. She tells us that her mother is desperate for her to get married but there is a problem. "Asian men don't want to marry me," says Shazia, pausing just long enough before adding, "because I speak."

     

    Instead, she is dating an Irish atheist, which leads her to ponder the similarities between the Irish and her roots in Pakistan.

     

    I won't spell out the punchline but lets just say that explosions are of the things Shazia reckons that two cultures have a shared fascination for.

     

    In other hands, it could be offensive to some but part of Shazia's set explores what is offensive and what isn't.

     

    This was a cracking performance from a comic who can make an audience think as well as laugh.

     

    Jonathan Trew
    PDF version of 'Daily Record Review'
  • 05 October 2010

    one4review

    Wicked Wenches - 5 October 2010- The Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh
    Posted on 06/10/2010 by one4review

    Following the second interval and prize draw, Susan Calman introduced Shazia Mirza, our headline act of the evening.

    I have seen Ms Mirza quite a few times over the years and have to say have always enjoyed her as a performer. Birmingham born of Asian heritage she always has a lot to say and the quality of her material is never in doubt. As well as a stand-up she does a lot of writing too, and the erudite nature of her set is testimony to this. Shazia always has plenty to say on her culture and upbringing, possibly able to go places with it that others may fear to tread, but never pushes the boundaries too far.

     

    From the off she was drawing howls of laughter with the majority of her well written and confidently delivered performance, and when she smiled the whole stage was illuminated. She majored on a recent excursion to Buckingham Palace, an event that was comedy gold for a comedian of her calibre, and boy did she make use of this. Shazia, although pretty well known in the comedy world, in my opinion deserves to be a household name, and let's hope this occurs sooner than later.

    http://one4review.wordpress.com/?s=shazia+mirza

  • 22 August 2010

    Scotland on Sunday

    Shazia Mirza is the self proclaimed 'White sheep' of her Pakistani Muslim family. As you might imagine, her own life gives Mirza plenty of material to work with and, in this show, she busts countless taboos about race, multiculturalism and sex with enough gusto to make the Guardian readersin the audience squirm uncomfortably.

    Mirza is very much on form and the nonchalant disregard with which she strides through several PC minefields is wonderful to watch.

    She ends with a great, surprising set piece about meeting the Queen that should be included in the curriculum of all diversity training days.

    Jonathan Trew

  • 01 February 2007 - The Independant

    The Anvil, Basingstoke
    In 2001, the Muslim comic Shazia Mirza leapt to the attention of the media with her infamous post-September 11 joke
    PDF version of 'The Anvil, Basingstoke'
  • 01 November 2006 - DNA Mumbai

    From Britain with love, and laughter
    Mirza, who has been routinely heckled in London and inundated with hate mail, spent an incident-less evening in Mumbai.
    PDF version of 'From Britain with love, and laughter'
  • 01 November 2006 - Hindustan Times

    The only thing sacred was comedy
    The beachfront mocha at Juhu must have set a record on Thursday night. Never before has the café been packed to the hilt for a live performance as it was for British-Pakistani stand-up comic Shazia Mirsa's act.
    PDF version of 'The only thing sacred was comedy'
  • 01 June 2006 - The Evening Standard

    Soho Theatre
    Written by: Bruce Dessau
    Having first made a splash by performing i Muslim dress and doing terrorism gags, Shazia Mirza has latterly been diping her toes in the mainstream.
    PDF version of 'Soho Theatre'
  • 12 August 2005 - The Independant

    The stand-up revolution
    Written by: Johann Hari
    It's beyond a joke: comics at the Edinburgh Fringe have been addressing difficult political issues - and getting lots of laughs in the process.
    PDF version of 'The stand-up revolution'