Ahir Shah @ Laughing Horse, Cabaret Voltaire

A phenomenal hour from Ahir Shah

Review by Polly Glynn | 13 Aug 2018
  • Ahir Shah

Duffer. Clown. Fool. That’s what Ahir Shah was to his grandmother, and that’s just what he is in front of the heaving room in Cabaret Voltaire. At 27, Shah is an incredibly accomplished stand-up, touching on several huge issues including race, religion and mental health, but never feeling like he does them a disservice as he deftly skips from one to another with ease. All somehow chart the journey of his grandmother from India to Wembley and back again, and Shah’s final visit to see her in late 2017.

It’s a much more personal affair than his previous out-and-out political work, but Shah’s acute talent shows he can turn his hand to the comedy of compassion too. His vulnerability at discussing something so personal onstage gives rise to stirring segments about the Windrush scandal and euthanasia but they’re held tightly either side by his impeccably written relief and the fantastic Bohemian Rhapsody gag that bubbles to the surface throughout the hour.

It’s a show that really connects: Duffer is accessible, tender and considerably less guilt-inducing than similarly passionate and rousing Edinburgh shows. 

Ahir Shah: Duffer, Laughing Horse, Cabaret Voltaire (Main Room), 2-26 Aug, 2.15pm, Free 

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