Iranian born British comedienne Shappi Khorsandi is currently touring her latest comedy show Because I’m Shappi, “Its very personal,” she tells Andy Howells, ” its about been pregnant when I was single and been a lone parent.”
Shappi’s description sums up that she is tackling 21st Century issues and scenarios that audiences will connect with. Her latest show premiered at Edinburgh Festival earlier this year, I ask her if the show has evolved as the tour progresses? “Without a doubt,” she replies, “three months go by and you go “Oh, that’s how I’m meant to do that joke!” It does get funnier and sharper. Some of them get kicked out, some of them get sent to borstal, it does change”
Shappi who counts BBC One’s Have I Got News For You and BBC Radio 4’s Just A Minute among her many appearances played a sell-out show in Ebbw Vale last year, recently performed at Newport Riverfront and will play Cardiff’s Glee Club on November 5.
“I find Welsh audiences are what we in the comedy industry call “comedy literate” in that they are funny themselves,” she says, ” So their bar is quite high, it makes for a positive energy in the shows. It delights me when I see a lot of people coming on their 18th (birthdays) as well as stag nights and hen nights. My demographic has certainly changed over the years!”
I wonder if Shappi has had any funny experiences at comedy gigs? “A man on the train asked me if I was Omid Djallili’s wife because I’m Iranian and that was quite baffling,” she replies, “I wish I could tell you I was abducted by aliens on the way to a gig. Its happened after, but never before.”
So when shes back at home and away from the stage what actually makes Shappi laugh? “I’ve got to say my children,” she responds, “otherwise Id be a terrible parent!”
- Visit Shappi Khorsandi’s official website.
- A version of this interview by Andy Howells was published in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on October 3, 2014.