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Words by Samaya Borom

Performing at the Melbourne Town Hall as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Shappi Khorsandi’s quick wit and keen observations make her show one not to be missed.

Originally from Iran, Khorsandi moved to England after the Islamic Revolution due to the persecution directed toward her poet father.  Khorsandi is an observational comedian, and the experience of growing up a Persian in England fuels many of the stories in her set. Some hilarious anecdotes include her father being mistaken for a Pakistani taxi driver or terrorist, religious assumptions concerning her newborn daughter, and condescending encounters with bigwigs whose stereotyped view of Khorsandi drew audible gasps and laughs from the audience.

Shappi’s approach was light hearted and always engaging. She included the audience in her set by asking them questions about their lives, then invariably segued into a personal anecdote that clearly resonated around the room. The subject matter was varied and entertaining, illustrating how adept Khorsandi is at moving effortlessly from talking about relationship issues to the problem of children being bullied in the playground.

Shappi Khorsandi’s show is a delightful hour or so, which feels like having a friend over for a chat. She’s personable, likeable and her stories are entertaining.

Shappi Khorsandi is on at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at the Melbourne Town Hall from 27 March to 13 April.