Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Sameena Zehra: Homicidal Pacifist, The Stand, Edinburgh Festival 2014

By Ollie Wilson

The concept of this show was that Sameena Zehra, an Indian comedian, was embarking on a cull of the human race. Everyone would have to fill out a questionnaire and if they did not meet her exacting standards or mend their ways, they would be executed.

The performance started 10 minutes late which was pretty inexcusable for a show with an audience of six.

The technician also left the room and, so later, there was no closing music. Not very professional.

Semeena was a middle-aged woman with a crew cut and a lot of hatred in her.

She talked 19 to the dozen, spewing out countless comedic ideas. Semeena would have been better off developing the stronger themes and culling the rest.

Certainly, she was a confident performer - not a new act - but much of her material was too weak for a full-length show.

Semeena said she hated religion but loved Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "If I ever meet him, I'll lick his face."

This is not normal. Incidentally, I have met Archbishop Tutu and felt no desire to lick his face.

Semeena ranted on about anti-frown and "anal bleaching" and declared: "I'm not Helen of f***ing Troy! I'm a magnet for weirdos!"

Perhaps it takes one to know one.

Although quite engaging and affable at times, she appears flush with bile and spleen, seeking fault in everything and everyone and planning retribution in her hypothetical random holocaust.

Semeena displayed a fabulous memory for her material but, sadly, this show did not work at all well.

As for the baby panda, whose contribution I looked forward to, he was never explained.


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