Mirza’s mirthful mission

according to Birmingham comedian Shazia Mirza, there’s nothing funny about science.

The former teacher gave up teaching the periodic table for stand-up eight years ago and hasn’t looked back since, putting her humorous tactics to control unruly children to better use in her shows.

Her latest tour – Multiple Choice – comes to Theatre Royal Wakefield later this month and despite her protestations, may ruffle a few feathers.

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Shazia said: “I don’t like to be controversial, I just talk about my life, whatever is happening and whatever is observational. If I wasn’t a comedian then I would probably just tell these stories to my friends down the pub.

“I talk a lot about my parent’s marriage and relationships and meeting the Queen. She invited me to the palace which was wonderful, it was funny. People are always intrigued because she’s such a mystery.

“I don’t think she goes to comedy so I don’t think she’s heard what I’ve been saying about her. I think I’ll be pretty safe in Wakefield.”

The humour in Shazia’s work comes from poking fun at slightly taboo subjects. By her own volition, as the only Asian woman on the comedy circuit, she uses it to her advantage, but she is adamant that while her cultural background provides the springboard, the sentiment for everyone is the same.

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“I think it’s just a different point of view,” she said. “When my friends talk about relationships I’ll talk about not having one till I was 30, and how strict my parents were. But it’s the same as everyone else. Everyone has the same sort of experiences and issues.

“I love it when the audience are great and performing to them, that’s the best thing. When you’re laughing, they’re laughing, everyone’s laughing. People need to have a laugh, that’s what I’ve found.”

Shazia Mirza will be at the Theatre Royal on Friday March 25. Tickets cost £9.50-£13.50, available from www.theatreroyalwake field.co.uk or the box office on 01924 211311.

The Express and the Theatre Royal have teamed up to give away a pair of tickets to see Shazia Mirza. To enter answer the following question:

What did Shazia Mirza do before she was a comedian?

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Send your answer on a postcard with your name, address and a daytime telephone number to Shazia Mirza Competition, c/o Pontefract and Castleford Express, 1 Front Street, Pontefract, WF8 1BL, by Friday March 18. Usual Express rules apply.