sun 22/05/2022

Shaparak Khorsandi, touring review - sex, drugs and rock'n'roll | reviews, news & interviews

Shaparak Khorsandi, touring review - sex, drugs and rock'n'roll

Shaparak Khorsandi, touring review - sex, drugs and rock'n'roll

The 90s viewed from afar

Shaparak Khorsandi recounts tales from her youth

Shaparak Khorsandi has reverted to her given name since she last toured (she used to be known as Shappi) but other than that not much has changed in her brand of feelgood comedy, and her new show, It Was the 90s!, is an amusing look back at her youth from the perspective of middle age.

The show, which I saw at Soho Theatre, is Covid-delayed, but the pandemic barely features as Khorsandi delves rather further back to describe her twenties and the adventures she had, now viewed with the benefit of two decades of additional life experience. She has dived into her personal life before in her shows with great success, but here a lot of the reminiscences, one suspects, would not make for comfortable viewing by her parents.

The memory kick has been caused by her 14-year-old son “discovering” '90s music, including Blur and Oasis and, as she patiently points out to him, she lived through it the first time. But now she's amused to find that her youth is social history for him, although she refuses to believe that the rave generation are all nearing 50.

Khorsandi was a ladette – “We mixed up feminism and alcoholism,” she says wryly – and remembers fondly those times before marriage and motherhood when, as she says, one-night-stands were almost obligatory and casual drug use was normal.

There are some good stories about her and her friends' sexual exploits – there's an interesting mention of Nivea cream – and a few tales from her festival-going and university days when she was surrounded by people much richer than her.

Khorsandi doesn't offer any great insights but that's not her stock-in-trade as she mostly doesn't dwell on serious stuff in her comedy – although there were a few points in It Was the 90s! when I wished she would. Instead she gets good mileage out of the differences between how it was then and how it is now, and how one's politics have to accommodate a different reality as we get older. And her closing gag, after a couple of clever callbacks, is fantastic.

There are some good stories about her and her friends' sexual exploits

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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