Edinburgh Fringe 2000 (59)
Edinburgh Fringe 2001 (316)
Edinburgh Fringe 2002 (354)
Edinburgh Fringe 2003 (376)
Edinburgh Fringe 2004 (422)
Edinburgh Fringe 2005 (415)
Edinburgh Fringe 2006 (547)
Edinburgh Fringe 2007 (668)
Edinburgh Fringe 2008 (733)
Edinburgh Fringe 2009 (773)
Edinburgh Fringe 2010 (927)
Edinburgh Fringe 2011 (963)
Edinburgh Fringe 2012 (1022)
Edinburgh Fringe 2013 (740)
Melbourne 2005 (26)
Melbourne 2006 (29)
Melbourne 2007 (31)
Melbourne 2008 (36)
Melbourne 2009 (36)
Melbourne 2010 (56)
Melbourne 2011 (36)
Melbourne 2012 (46)
Melbourne 2013 (57)
Misc live shows (204)Montreal 2004 (6)
Montreal 2006 (10)
Montreal 2007 (15)
Montreal 2008 (17)
Montreal 2009 (17)
West End run (14)
See Less »
Isma Almas: Eager Beaver
Isma Almas at Chortle's Fast Fringe
Clip from 2009 Edinburgh Fringe show
|More Isma Almas: Eager Beaver videos|
|Isma Almas at Chortle's Fast Fringe|
Leicester Comedy Festival 2009:
A show about serious issues in life – mental health, racism, poverty and having a shag with one’s cousin
Original Review:Isma Almas’s early attempt at her first hour-long show is something of a jumble. The autobiographical story jumps all over the place, many of the tales end in decidedly weak punchlines, and she’s a decidedly long-winded anecdotalist.
However, all is not lost. She’s an engaging presence with a warm, smiley personality and her experiences of growing up as the only Asian family on an all-white estate in Bradford offer plenty of opportunity to fascinate.
Her father was an oppressively devout Muslim who kept his wife in purdah – not just burkhaed, but virtually confined to the house – while he tried to blend in with the rest of his neighbours which, as a teetotaller, often proved especially tricky.
This childhood experience has given her the licence to talk with authority about fundamentalist Islam, which she gently teases with an impish grin rather than hectoring angrily from her soapbox, and proves the interesting backbone to the show.
However, many of the ancillary routines need to be sharper, while other unrelated scraps of material, such as the fact she currently volunteers for the Samaritans, don’t justify their inclusion in the show.
And while she is a natural at teasing out the underlying humour from the real-life stories, she often comes a cropper when she tries to extrapolate them out into exaggerated comic tales. For example, she can’t make some of the bizarre fatwas issued over the years sound any more ridiculous than the truth.
The timing of the Leicester Comedy Festival means that a lot of smaller shows such as this are actually early works in progress for August’s Edinburgh Fringe, and probably not ready be held up for scrutiny as stand-alone offerings – even if the people of the East Midlands are being sold them as the much more glamorous-sounding ‘world premieres’ [or ‘premiers’ as the programme inaccurately has it].
This, certainly, is a long way from the finished deal, as the tales need to be sharpened, the flow sorted out, and something done to avoid the audience staring at a blank stage for several minutes while Almas sets up a finale. But the landscape in which much of her stand-up is set offers a lot of potential; hopefully she can release it by the summer…
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
No comments are currently available for this show.