• Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Reviews

Ends by Ahir Shah review: Marvellous mixture of comedy and important life lessons

The stand-up comedian touched on diverse subjects, which ranged from colonial history and the struggles of immigrants to Rishi Sunak and his own impending marriage

AHIR SHAH: ENDS

By: Asjad Nazir

AHIR SHAH performed his Edinburgh Fringe-winning show Ends in front of a packed crowd at Soho Theatre in central London.

Most didn’t realise that the comedian was walking among them and pumping himself up to perform, with a classic qawwali from Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan playing loudly in the venue. When that anonymous figure finally took to the stage, he filled it up like a tornado sweeping in with a high energy set powered by a machine gun style delivery.

The stand-up comedian touched on diverse subjects, which ranged from colonial history and the struggles of immigrants to Rishi Sunak, his own impending marriage, family, finding the hilarious Arabic meaning of his own name and the destruction caused by the current government. But the giant beating heart was the story of his late grandfather who left India to build a new life for his young family in the UK.

But this was no ordinary stand-up comedy performance that was filled with jokes from start to finish, but something a lot deeper. While there was plenty of laughter, the skilled orator injected real emotion into the story of his grandparents and related it to what is happening today.

The great comedy set mixed up laughter, with deeply affecting silences, which obviously impacted the mostly non-Asian audience, including Shah retelling the story of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and colonial atrocities committed in the aftermath that are not widely known about.

Audiences who came for the comedy, got laughter with jokes that peppered his set, but they also saw a master storyteller share hidden moments from history filled with important life lessons. All of this demonstrated just why it was named best show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Eastern Eye

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