Review: The Road to Englistan @ King George’s Hall, Blackburn

11:46am Monday 20th July 2009

By Caroline Taylor

CAN laughter bridge a cultural divide?

The Anglo-Asian comedy evening, part of Celebrate Blackburn, aimed to do just that – and in some ways it achieved its aim.

The only problem was that the acts were very hit and miss.

Compere John Cooper did a good job of keeping the audience in check and ensuring the night ran smoothly, and the first two comics Darshan Sangrajka and Mani Liaqat went down fairly well.

But the night went downhill rapidly with Aatif Nawaz, who attempted to get the mostly Muslim audience to talk about alcohol and sex – not a good move.

He finished by singing a desperately awful “They stole my iPhone” to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone”.

The night continued to slide with Loughborough’s Ishi Khan-Jackson, who didn’t seem to connect, meaning laughs were few and far between.

Thank goodness for the final act, Steve Shanyaski who stormed it.

Steve spoke about his native Stockport and the “pram army” he encounters in its uniform of velour tracksuits: “Come on Shaznay, we’ve got to get to Poundland before it shuts, we’ve got to get your grandad his 30th birthday present”.

All in all not a bad night.

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