Leicester Comedy Festival review: Shappi Khorsandi at Just the Tonic at Hansom Hall

By Emily Barker

Shappi Khorsandi

Within the opening few minutes of her Leicester show, Shappi Khorsandi was picking on people who clearly have never got the memo about sitting in the first few rows at a comedy gig.

First up were a group of four friends, then a 21-year-old girl, to whom Khorsandi was soon referring to herself as Auntie Shappi.

But the 42-year-old turns the fire on herself too, with a flurry of self-deprecating jokes about her age, before going on to take the mick out of her immigrant status.

Khorsandi really gives off cool mum-vibes, talking very highly of her poet father who is often made a part of the show, and her two young children and their struggles with daily life.

But if she talks about her family, it’s certainly not a family show. Jokes are spun from her terrible dating experiences, from STIs and from flashers, but Shappi delivers each segment perfectly and clearly enjoys telling her own sketches as she cracks a giggle along with the audience.

Khorsandi describes one of her flashing experiences as being like Donkey Kong, and it’s safe to say that I’ll never be playing Mario the same way ever again.

Shappi’s 2017 stint on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is also mined for material, bringing a slight political edge to the show when she tells us about her time in the jungle with Stanley Johnson, complete with an impression.

Despite her struggles in the camp, Shappi manages to find a positive in every situation, explaining how she felt that she’d won for being voted out first, which meant she actually got to spend more time with her family and essentially got a free holiday from ITV.

The show, which got even better from the second half, finished with huge applause from the audience, even though some of them served as the brunt of her jokes; especially the 21-year-old who was given a lesson in the meaning of a 1980s strippergram by Auntie Shappi.

If you get a chance to see Shappi do her stuff, grab it. Highly recommended.

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