Comedy, Festivals

MICF: Shappi Khorsandi

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Khorsandi is the proud, beautiful and noble daughter of a revolutionary poet forced to flee Iran following the nation’s Islamic Revolution. And so, one might expect an hour of the sort of nobility and restraint that only a life spent in asylum can produce. Forget that. Shappi has returned to talk about tits. But, even this she does with grace.
In her excellent 2007 turn Asylum Speaker, I found her to be the kind of elegant ambassador for understanding that any notable committee would applaud. She was a little racy but chiefly and competently committed to a project of exploring social difference. Since then, she’s turned forty and pushed out two babies. This is a bluer Khorsandi who clearly feels her work as a role model is irrelevant or, perhaps, elastic.
Selfishly, I approve. I like whorish jokes made by women at their own expense and I always enjoy a good psychoanalytic strip-tease performed by a top-drawer comedian. But, even when considered as a change agent, Shappi remains rather useful. That she is able to fearlessly disclose the details of her life not-always-upright life does as much to detonate bigotry as the cleaner Khorsandi. Frankly, that she doesn’t give a shit about always being an honourable princess of justice is refreshing.
It’s refreshing from a social standpoint and just damn funny from the second row. Her work, always high-quality, was once over-written. Now she is cool and confident enough to take the mic without always knowing what will come out of her honourable mouth. She knows, I suspect, that it will certainly be funny.
Daffy, disorganised and gorgeous as an extra bonus, Khorsandi has become what I would call “must-see”.
[box]DR Comedy Warnings: # MARX ATH WHIM AP (mild)
Shappi Khorsandi is at Melbourne Town Hall until 13 April. Tickets are available at comedyfestival.com.au[/box]

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