Shazia Mirza heads to Birmingham Old Rep with comedy show
It’s her favourite place to play. As well it might be. For Shazia Mirza loves nothing more than a homecoming gig in Brum.
The star of Channel 4’s Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls will headline the city’s Old Rep tonight in her new show, With Love From St Tropez.
The show follows her critically acclaimed 2016, sell-out international run of The Kardashians Made Me Do It. It also comes hot on the heels of Shazia being ravaged by hunger and sand-flies on Channel 4’s Celebrity Island.
Fans can look forward to a show about lies and truth (or is that the same thing?), nudity and the periodic table.
Shazia will explain how those things hold the key to the future. She’ll talk about how much people wear, what they look like and whether it’s right to wear more than dental floss on French beaches.
She said: “It’s just really about what’s going on in the world. I’ve got some things about the periodic table because people have a fear of that, which is funny.
“The whole thing about St Troplez started because I was on a beach there and it turned into a nudist beach. I can tell you, I saw some things there I’d never been before. A few days later, the same country banned the burka. So it’s OK to go stark naked but you can’t cover up.” She laughs at the absurdity of it all. Writing routines about such madness is the way she makes sense of the world.
“I think what happens is that I’ll see something and feel funny about it and want to write about it. I did the show in Edinburgh in the summer and added a bit about being in the jungle with Bear Grylls. There’s quite a bit about the way alpha males go around describing themselves as alpha males. I don’t get it. I mean, what kind of man describes himself as an alpha male? If you’re calling yourself an alpha male, clearly you’re not. So I’ve written a lot of material about that. And people are also confused about things because of the rise of feminism.”
The battle of the sexes features strongly in Shazia’s routine. There’s been a surge in feminist causes and meninsts feel under siege.
“There is a struggle between men and women and there’s a struggle between censorship and Trump and the press. I also got into being in the jungle and talk about being a vegetarian and eating a crocodile. I did that to stay alive. I had to stay alive. It was a survival situation. So there’s vegetarism, veganism and femanists. It seems you have to be part of a movement now, you have to have a label to get by.”
Shazia is baffled by the war of the sexes. And she says her experiences on Celebrity Island merely added to the confusion, rather than providing any answers.
“As I say in the show, I don’t know anything about men. I didn’t until I went into the jungle with them. They are mental when they have no food, they just go mental. And this alpha male business is nonsense: there were two men in the jungle who referred to themselves as being alpha and they were useless. They went looking for water and came back with nothing. They couldn’t find anything. The women went out and got food and water and kept everyone alive. I don’t understand why men feel the need to be macho and label themselves as such. There’s a struggle between men and women, women are stronger and men are emasculated. Women are becoming just as masculine as men. Men are different, in nature. Feminism has taken over and men don’t know what to do.”
Shirza will be on the road with her tour manager, who’ll be doing his chores to keep her pleased.
“I have a tour manager now and he does all the work, as a man should. He makes me tea and coffee and drives me to the gig and does the soundcheck and makes sure everything is in place. I don’t have to worry about things because I have someone to look after me.”
And she can’t wait to get back home. Birmingham is where it’s at.
“Birmingham has a great sense of humour. Everyone in Birmingham is funny. I can talk to strangers in the bar after the gig and they have funny stories to tell. It’s just real life. They just tell real life stories about what they do and what’s happened to them. I heard some really funny stories and people don’t realise how funny they are. These people in Birmingham and Manchester have great day-to-day life. I think our way of getting through life is that we did tell stories and chat with our neighbours and tell stories. That’s how we got through life.”