Interview: Shazia Mirza talks Donald Trump and ISIS during Northampton show

Shazia MirzaShazia Mirza
Shazia Mirza
'It does work though '“ you can see how wound up he gets over the slightest provocation.'

When interviewing comedian Shazia Mirza ahead of her new show coming to Northampton, there’s no surprise it didn’t take long for the issue of President Trump to raise itself. But more on that later.Entitled The Kardashians Made Me Do It, the show comes around the UK following an acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe. It is described as a searing exploration of life, love and Jihadi brides.The show was inspired by three girls who left Bethnal Green to join Isis, and an unrelated radio piece Shazia contributed to the BBC which subsequently received a record number of complaints. She looks into the nature of offence, and the dangers of politically correct liberalism versus the sinister and terrifying intrusion of Isis into the lives of young British Asian women. Shazia said: “I was very inspired by a report on the Home Affairs Select Committee where the families of the girls who left to join Isis couldn’t understand why they had joined. They were big fans of the Kardashians, which gave me the title of the show.“It is a show that is nothing to do with them and does lead to some confusion from audience members who question whether they are in the right show. But no one has ever walked out.”I venture to Shazia that doing a show all about Islam in the current climate is a risky idea.She added: “People just want to hear some jokes – we are in such an environment that jokes are a good thing.“If you look at what is coming out of America at the moment with The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live, it is a boom time for satire.”But is working on material like this at the moment worth it and is it effective?Shazia said: “You can see how effective it is. And how angry Donald Trump gets at the provocation. We’ve seen what he thinks of Alec Baldwin’s impression of him, and his reaction when Meryl Streep criticised him.“However, you do not want to go for the obvious jokes about Donald Trump. And because he is so ridiculous, you have to try and out-Trump Trump.”Shazia made her name in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks with a show which she started in a deadpan way with the words “My name is Shazia Mirza. At least, that’s what it says on my pilot’s licence.”And being female muslim comedian, does she ever the pressure to be a spokesman for her culture?Shazia said: “I didn’t want to be at the beginning but now I am finding that people are interested in what I have to say, and my views on things. I don’t worry about it at all.”Like many who have become successful comedians, Shazia was a teacher before venturing to the world of stand up.She said: “I was a teacher in a very rough school, the sort of place where children would regularly not go into lessons.“I found out that the only way to keep the children in my lessons was to tell jokes and make them laugh.“Therefore when I went and did some comedy gigs at the start of my stand up career, it was a much easier job than being a teacher.”And what would she say to people to get them to come along and see the show?Shazia said: “I think people will have a laugh with this show – it is the best one that I have ever created.“It is the type of show that people will have never seen before. It will be very fun and exciting for people coming along.”The Kardashians Made Me Do It can be seen on Tuesday February 28 starting at 7.45pm. Tickets for the show are £16 each.Visit or call 01604 624811 for more details about the show or to book.