COMEDY REVIEW: Shappi Khorsandi: Mistress and Misfit @ The Stand, Newcastle (16.10.17) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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People often ask Shappi Khorsandi where she’s from. You can imagine the tone, and the dissatisfaction when she answers “North West London” rather than offer a detailed explanation as to how a woman of Iranian heritage came to call herself British. Picking up where previous show Oh My Country! left off, Mistress And Misfit continues to explore our ideas of Britishness, through the history of one of Britain’s forgotten historical female figures.

Though a little haphazard, the show follows the story of Lady Emma Hamilton, who – for those not au fait with British Naval History – was the mistress of Horatio Nelson. For the non-historians wondering who Lord Nelson is (and there were a few in the front row), he’s the chap overlooking Trafalgar Square. She cleverly weaves the narrative of Lady Hamilton’s tragic life, with her own experiences as a single mother, first forays into bisexualism, and whether that one night in Amsterdam really counted as prostitution. 

If history isn’t your thing, you mustn’t be put off, for Shappi is a shining example of someone with the ability to pepper any story with clever wit. Refreshingly, she manages to question politics, race, and nationalism without once referencing Brexit, Muslim bans or the chump in the Whitehouse, and that I feel, deserves a standing ovation.

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