Ahir Shah @ Laughing Horse, Cabaret Voltaire

A perfect command of thought and politics from Ahir Shah

Review by Tony Makos | 11 Aug 2017
  • Ahir Shah

“I said that because I'm good at comedy.” Ahir Shah is a clever guy, and knows it. His very first joke contains a fallacy and a fake fact, which he points out almost immediately after receiving the expected laughs. In an era of internet bullshit, half-hearted political propaganda and fake news, this seems wildly appropriate. Control demonstrates a comedian in full, well, control, of his edgier political material while thankfully at the same time understanding that there’s no harm in taking the odd cheap and easy route for a laugh – it’s this delicate mix that is the key to keeping a sizeable audience engaged and he mostly pulls it off to great effect.

As a young British-Indian stand-up, the talk almost inevitably comes around to race and to Brexit, but from a much less conventional point of view – not many comics would attempt to genuinely examine pro-Brexit arguments onstage and expect a young liberal audience to stay onboard, but Shah is committed, focused, articulate, emotional and ready to bring up tough questions without necessarily having the answers. The mix occasionally veers too far in the direction of political monologue, but for those who require a call to action this is an engrossing hour from one of the best young political comedians out there today.

Ahir Shah: Control, Laughing Horse at Cabaret Voltaire (Main Room), until 27 Aug, 2.00pm (with additional 5.45pm shows on 16 & 23 Aug), Free