Shappi Khorsandi is taking a slightly different approach this year. Usually using her background as the source of her comedy, Mistress and Misfit instead looks at another great woman. Her latest hour sees the much-loved comic turn her focus to Lady Emma Hamilton. Although a great muse to George Romney and infamous mistress to Horatio Nelson, Lady Hamilton was tragically let down by her country after Nelson died at the Battle of Trafalgar.
From life drawing to single motherhood, the comedian proves that figures from the Georgian era have more in common with us than we realise. She dives into the world of Lady Hamilton’s relationships, paralleling them with her own quest for love – which includes a sudden passion for Grime music and a night out in Amsterdam.
Khorsandi proves every time how effortlessly funny she can be no matter what the topic. Her brave decision to present a show about a historical character – and a little known historical character at that – definitely pays off and is a refreshing approach that will set her apart from the endless amount of Brexit stories and Trump comedy floating about Edinburgh this year.
Don’t let your lack of knowledge of Lady Hamilton deter you; Khorsandi is delightfully educational in her approach while never overloading her audience and keeping a steady flow of personal anecdotes throughout. Mistress and Misfit is all around entertainment that is both hilarious and enlightening: if only we could learn all history through Shappi Khorsandi.
Words: Nastassia Sutherland
Shappi Khorsandi: Mistress and Misfit, Assembly George Square Studios, Aug 8-27 (not 14), 6.40pm