Edinburgh Fringe digital review: Shaparak Khorsandi – ShapChat

Now celebrating 25 years since her comedy debut, Shaparak Khorsandi delivers a solid hour of observational comedy at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Time, men, sex, experience, pets, and fads all form part of Khorsandi’s set, along with a diagnosis of ADHD and a grumble around Brexit and lockdown. There’s pronouns, body positivity, and just “being an arsehole”.

So, with all bases covered, this is a comfortable show from an assured performer who knows her audience and meets their expectations.

Born in Iran, Khorsandi has been UK-based since the mid-70s and exudes a very “middle-class Londoner” vibe, a Waitrose mum who has an affinity with dogs.

She touches on career advisers in state schools in the 1980s – yes, they were ever so helpful – and the difference between state and private education.

Khorsandi has been a fixture at the Fringe for quite a while, and you tend to expect what you get. She has a strong personality and a delivery that mixes a bit of bitterness with a layer of warmth.

Now she’s hit the milestone of her 50th birthday (something I can completely relate to) she realises we are “the raving generation” who will be singing in our dotage to a bit of house or techno.

Being older is about being “brave” without make-up, being noticed by men for very different reasons than you were in your 20s, and feeling comfortable admiring flowers or sleeping in the spare room.

ShapChat is a funny look at relationships, children, dating, ageing, and more. It’s about “when sex goes and crafting comes in.” It’s about being proud of DIY and putting up a shelf that’s level.

It’s about the generation we call children being, maybe, just a little bit more sensible than us. And what do we do with that?

Shaparak Khorsandi’s ShapChat has its final performance at Fringe tonight: tickets here. I reviewed from a livestream on Next Up Comedy.


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