ComedyNorth WestReview

LOL (Ladies of Laughter) with Noreen Kahn – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Matt Forrest

Back in 2016, television and radio presenter Noreen Kahn tried her hand at stand-up comedy. This proved a hugely successful move and led Kahn to set up her own, all-female comedy nights and tours. Tonight, The Lowry played host to some of the UK’s finest female comic talents as Judi Love, Shazia Mirza, Maureen Younger and Kahn provided a feast of comedy that had something for everyone.

The night started off quite serenely as Kahn welcomes us to the show, getting to know the crowd and welcoming all the mothers in the audience with it being a mother’s day after all. It’s a gentle opening and quite refreshing for a comedy show to begin this way, however, it certainly isn’t how the rest of the evening pans out.

First up is Maureen Younger, a comic dealing with life in London and the dating scene. Younger explains about her time doing various stand-up shows as a white comic on bills such as the Jamaica vs Africa: Younger was on the side of the Jamaicans. She also goes into detail of how no one messes with her Mum – an intimidating Scottish lady that the muggers of London live in fear of. Younger makes the most of her brief stint, with a confidently delivered self-deprecating routine filled with sass. It’s a fun way to start off the night.

Next up is Judi Love, who despite an initial slow start, takes the evening down a cruder path with a routine about the perils dating skinnier men and her experience as a woman of Jamaican descent living in the UK. Love really hits her stride with her take on the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Megan Markel; it was hilarious, bang on point and the audience loved it.

Following the interval, the evening’s headline act Shazia Mirza arrived on stage like a force of nature, launching straight into material about Shamima Begum; it’s brutal, it’s shocking, but most of all funny. Nothing is off limits for Mirza as she lays into everything from Muslim women, to white males, Brexit to Home Secretary Sajid Javid – Javid comes in for quite the tongue lashing. Mirza is truly a one women wrecking ball whose routine pulls no punches. It’s a somewhat scattergun approach as Mirza drifts back and forth from one vicious tirade to the next and at times became a little repetitive but overall she hit the mark.

LOL was not just a showcase of women in comedy, but of diversity and culture. Some of the gags were aimed more at the Muslim and the Jamaican community and I must confess went over my head. Whilst not all of the material worked, it didn’t matter because the gags came thick and fast and so did the laughs. This was an entertaining evening and a celebration of women and Britain.

Reviewed 31 March 2019 

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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