Stand-up Shazia Mirza looks Trump and censorship

Stand-up Shazia Mirza offers With Love From St Tropez, a show that's about 'lies, lies, lies' (Brighton Komedia, Tuesday, March 27).

Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 8:31 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:12 am
Shazia Mirza
Shazia Mirza

“Well, actually it’s not about lies. That was a brief before I did my show in Edinburgh, and the show has changed a bit since then. It is a show about censorship and about Trump and about the state of the world and about being on Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls.”

But lies do still come into it.

“I will also be talking about being in America. They think I am Mexican in America! They don’t understand British Muslim over there. They just see me as Mexican. I have been offered cleaning jobs. I have been offered jobs doing people’s gardens. I will be talking about my experiences in America and I will be talking about Trump.

“When you are there, you can see why people voted for him. When you are there, it is no surprise that he got elected. I wouldn’t have done it, but you can understand why. They are all so angry about immigrants. They think they are all rapists coming over to rape their wives. There is all that fear-mongering going on.

“But I just pretend to be French when I am over there. When you are British abroad, the other British are so embarrassing. I just pretend I am French or Spanish or Puerto Rican.”

Shazia is interested in performing in the States because it is a different audience: “I have to change some of the things I am saying because they wouldn’t understand it. They get very confused about me. They think that I am a character I am playing. They tell me that they like that character that I do, ‘that character you have got with the English accent’ and I tell them it’s not a character: it’s actually me!

“They ask me where I am from and I say that I am from England and they say ‘No, where were you from before that?’ And there is no before that. I was born in England. It’s just about education really.”

Or the lack of it.

“But sometimes you can educate people and they are still ignorant. Some people will always just believe what they want to believe. Some people will always believe what just fits in with their prejudices and their ignorance…

“But it is all just lies. We need the truth now more than ever. That’s why we need proper investigative journalists. Instead, these days everyone thinks they are an expert. Everyone thinks they are qualified to speak about everything. Everybody goes online. Everybody thinks they have got the right to say what they think even when they don’t understand…”

Not that she will “go on” about such things: “I just want people to come along and have a good time, to come along and escape.”