5 Minutes In Edinburgh With Shappi Khorsandi


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pardtx566tx1133tx1700tx2267tx2834tx3401tx3968tx4535tx5102tx5669tx6236tx6803pardeftab720qlqnatural f0fs24 cf0 Well, I’m here, for I think
the fourth time doing a solo show and my show this year is called The Moon On A Stick. It’s
a show that’s pretty much about everything that’s gone on for me since the last Edinburgh
that I was here which was last year. So that’s why I’m here again this year, I come to the
festival every year. I called my show The Moon On A Stick because The Moon On A Stick
is quite an old English expression about wanting it all and wanting everything, wanting the
unattainable and I was talking to a friend of mine who is a rapper and very good with
words and I was talking to him about how a lot of my show is about how I separated from
my husband this year and I was talking to him about how it’s really difficult because
I was working and I had a child and all of this and then he said, “Look you wanted to
work and have a baby, you didn’t want the moon on a stick” and I loved it and used it
as my show title and then I started to get, I got an email from someone going, “Oh is
that a homage to Lee and Herring” and I had a gig with Stuart Lee and Richard Herring
and I said, “What’s the story with you and the moon on a stick?” and they said it was
like a sketch that they did when they had their TV show which I hadn’t seen and it’s
an English expression, they didn’t coin it, but I think they popularised it. I think audiences
are different throughout the country. Scottish audiences tend to be what we comedians call
“comedy literate” which means they are very conscious of their sense of humour and the
bar is very high with what they like and what the get and what they want from you. I think
culturally its much more, perhaps less reserved than the English so you have a laugh with
people much quicker. I did a show in 2006 called “Asylum Speaker” and that was a show
that kind of, I guess, kick started my career in a way because it was a show about why we
moved to Britain and it was quite heavily based around the Iranian revolution which
is not always a subject for comedy but that show was a sort of seminal show for me. After
Asylum Speaker the most significant thing that happened was that I got a publishing
deal which meant that I wrote a book based on the show called, I will tell you the name
of my book when it comes to me, my book is called The Beginners Guide to Acting English
and it’s a childhood memoir and so I started to write my book and then I did The Secret
Policeman’s Ball. I think that was the first, sort of, high profile television thing that
I did. For ten years of my career I was kind of treading water and everything all of a
sudden happened in the same year and it all went by in a bit of a blur because I also
had a baby that year. This is the first time in a couple of years that I’m sort of taking
a bit of a step back and going “Oh wow, there we are that was all good” and what it’s meant
is that I feel like I have, with my book and other shows that I have done, I feel like
I have done a lot about my cultural background and this year I am really enjoying the fact
that my show isn’t anything really, very much, I’ll always touch on it because it’s such
a part of who I am, but it’s really nice for me to put a lot of that kind of stuff to bed
in my book and now I feel able to really enjoy stand-up and I feel like I’m just starting
you know, I feel after ten years I am just starting and it’s a very exciting place to
be, I think, creatively I am enjoying it more than I ever have done. I’ve had some of the
most incredible times of my life in Edinburgh, the city itself. I think people in Edinburgh
must tire of hearing people talking about how beautiful it is, because you look in one
direction and you can see the sea, or is it an estuary? I don’t know, but there’s lots
of water and then you look behind you and there’s a castle and there’s a volcano in
the middle of the city, how incredible is that? It’s an intense place to be during the
festival. I have been to Edinburgh outside of the festival and its, if it wasn’t so far
away from London I would live here, and I only say that because my mother would be devastated
if I moved more than, if I live more than half an hour away from her house she can’t
cope. }

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