Shappi Khorsandi has been doing the rounds for a while now without properly consolidating her growing success. Oh My Country! From Morris Dancing to Morrissey, her love letter to the England she came to know and love and accept as her own, might just be the show to do that. In a brilliantly frank deconstruction of her own experiences of race and nationhood, which takes her from her first memory of racial abuse to the acceptance she felt from listening to the music of Billy Bragg, Khorsandi paints a series of portraits of place and time from throughout her forty years of making a home of England.
It’s a surprisingly moving hour that showcases the comedian at her most charismatic and at her most personal. Particular highlights include a running segment about her two young children, who she claims capture both sides of her cultural heritage: her son, the “English gentleman” who sings ‘Jerusalem’ while spreading potted beef on his toast, and her daughter, the three year old with the temperament of “an old Middle Eastern woman”. Other absolute gems tell stories of her unique experiences meeting Jeremy Corbyn and Billy Bragg himself – suffice it to say, neither goes to plan.
It’s a warm and charming sign-of-our-times hour of material that offers up Khorsandi at her most frank and honest. Whether you’re a long standing fan or new to Shappi’s stuff, Oh My Country! is a show to make you think a bit, at the same time as sweeping you off your feet.