FRINGE 2018: Why you need to see... Ahir Shah
Who: Ahir Shah
What: Ahir Shah: Duffer
Where: Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire
If you're hoping to see Ahir Shah at the Fringe, don't be late. He is attracting daily queues down the road for his new 'Duffer' show, and judging by the chatter from those exiting his performances, the buzz for "one of the best things I've seen" is only growing. Even those securing standing room only are grateful for the privilege.
Anyone familiar with Shah's work will be aware of his intellectual depth and clever wit. Whilst other comics struggle to fill a full hour, Shah's delivery is necessarily rapid-fire to fit everything in. Indeed, some of his throwaway one-liners about religion, nationhood, society, and human nature are as erudite as you'll hear anywhere.
What elevates this show from merely excellent to very special is Shah's ability to tackle existential questions in a way that's at once brain-bending and brilliantly funny. Rather than work to the rhythm of serious subject, then funny bit, then serious subject again, Shah effortlessly finds gags in the most devastating subjects without missing a beat.
For all the cerebral content, at the heart of the show is broken and partially fixed blood ties, specifically concerning Shah's family back in India. He may flash his rakish smile at regular intervals, and pepper his material with Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics, but Shah is angry and upset with many aspects of life, and rightfully so.
He doesn't have all the answers - or perhaps any - but to watch Ahir Shah contemplate the meaning of life, the universe and everything with such brains and bombast is something to behold.
You can buy tickets for Ahir Shah: Duffer here.