Leila Navabi

Leila Navabi

Welsh/English bilingual comedian who has written on Bad Education and Deep Fake Neighbour Wars, among others, while she made her Edinburgh Fringe debut in 2023 with Composition
Read More

Leila Navabi: Composition

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Some of the most fascinating comics have spent their lives dealing with the kind of shit most of us will never truly appreciate. And even after they’ve worked harder than anyone else to be heard and respected, they often end up being expected eloquently to represent to mainstream audiences whatever minority identity they’re tagged with.

If they do something messy, naïve or risky they’re likely to be judged more harshly, and there will always be a disgusting cluster of trolls ready to attach, say, their race or sexuality to their scattergun criticism. It must be exhausting.

In her striking debut, Leila Navabi draws upon a deep chest of talents to express her frustration about this. She implores us to understand why other people’s obsession with their idea of her identity (brown and gay) is so aggravating: she needs to be heard not because of those things, but because of what she says and does.

If that all sounds a bit heavy, well, it is. Of course it is; it has to be. But it’s bundled up in so much fun too, from spectacular one-liners to silly songs performed on a keyboard and true stories that serve up vivid evidence of how some people are treated.

The core narrative involves what happens when her funny rap about potatoes went viral, catching the attention of a BBC Wales producer. He brought her on board to do some material about then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, heavily implying that she’d be able to get away with it because of her race.  

The material she produced – all during lockdown, before she’d ever done any stand-up – included an objectively accurate nugget that triggered much ire, and thousands of foam-flecked trolls came after her. She was very young and in no way equipped to deal with it. The journey is fascinating.

Navabi is at once gutsy and vulnerable; emboldened and already worn down. She’s completely in command when she’s given the stage, and even manages to redirect moments of chaos to serve her aims. Her jokes all hit the bullseye and the revelations feel so raw and real that you feel you’d punch those who’ve been cruel. 

What a thrilling, fascinating and revealing debut.

Read More

Published: 14 Aug 2023

Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Leila Navabi: Composition


We do not currently hold contact details for Leila Navabi's agent. If you are a comic or agent wanting your details to appear here, for a one-off fee of £59, email steve@chortle.co.uk.

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.