Edinburgh Festival review – Shappi Khorsandi

Shappi Khorsandi returns to Edinburgh the year after the festival contributed to the downfall of her marriage; the show she has written since her divorce is an unfocussed one, writes Jay Richardson.

Shappi_Khorsandi2Wanting to have it all, the career and family, Shappi Khorsandi has successfully cemented her position as a Radio 4 stalwart, become a published author and been judged a suitable foil for Kirstie Allsop’s political witterings on Andrew Neil’s election boat. Unfortunately, her marriage has failed too and she’s facing up to life as a single mum.

Maintaining that last year’s festival was a significant factor in the divorce, this hour promises her usual blend of breezy cheek, but with added bite at her former husband’s expense. There’s a well-judged degree of that certainly and a smattering of self-criticism, but this is a generally ill-focused show and you suspect that Khorsandi is still processing the fallout of the breakup, on a comedic level if not a personal one.

She promises, and for the most part abides by, her pledge not to draw too heavily upon her Iranian upbringing, yet we’re 25 minutes in before she proclaims “so here’s the show”, the disclosure of her brush with a mainstream sitcom and a lazy reading from the admittedly mind-blowing British Citizenship Test For Dummies mere padding up to this point.

Thereafter, she reveals some amusingly bittersweet details about her ex’s reading habits in preparation for meeting her parents and the irreconcilable differences that undermined the marriage. But there seems little justification in her segueing briefly into her experiences of bulimia and, while fun, her efforts to find a new babyfather by interrogating the audience feel like a gratuitous set-piece in lieu of real material.

Three stars
Shappi Khorsandi – Moon on a Stick is on at 7.50pm at Pleasance Courtyard,click here for booking.

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