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Shappi Khorsandi - Soho Theatre - 4 Stars

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As she bounds onto the stage, Shappi Khorsandi immediately exudes a warmth and charisma that's forever present during her show. She almost immediately makes a real and concerted effort to bond with her audience, often addressing individual crowd members by name and bridging the gap between performer and audience.

A frequent presence on our television screens, one might have presumed to know what to expect from Khorsandi. However Shappi steers clear of her usual television friendly shtick and is a more delightfully explicit comedian than perhaps anticipated. On stage she unleashes a more improvised style which allows her to flourish; voyaging through flights of fancy with a kind of charming vulgarity and faux-naivety which makes her impossible to dislike.

The routine is primarily concerned with a recent and deeply flawed relationship which she embarked upon with a famous rockstar from the nineties (who remains nameless throughout). Throughout the act, it becomes increasingly apparent that the wounds of this failed relationship are still raw; a trait which gives the routine a real authenticity and charm which seldom present themselves in this industry. It almost becomes a stream of consciousness, where the audience become a pseudo soundboard for her to voice her concerns, fears and insights as she tries to wade through the 'what-went-wrongs' to make sense of it all.

In fact, such is her level of candidness, that at times, the audience shuffled uncomfortably in their seats, particularly when detailing the lengthy list of misdemeanors committed by her former boyfriend. However, the narrative of her psychological torment at the hands of her ex-lover is interspersed with light-hearted stories of her childhood and formative years, including a pivotal month-long sojourn to Paris as a teenager.

Very little is off limits as she mines into her life for comedy fodder; which culminates in an engaging hour of smutty, direct and very funny material. Shappi is an endearing presence and possesses a charming self-awareness that ensures consistent laughter from start to finish.