Ahir Shah is definitely the youngest comedian (mid-twenties) I’ve seen so far at this year’s Fringe. It hasn’t been a conscious decision although I have stated in the past that I was getting a bit tired of pale male thirty-somethings moaning about their lives. Ahir starts off well in my book then as he only ticks one of those boxes (male). Could it be though that the movement of frustrated ‘Generation Y’s as stand-up’ is growing and could one day outnumber the older slackers who probably can’t be bothered doing it any more?
One thing you can say about the younger guys is they have bags more energy and loads to say/moan about. And so it is with Ahir Shah who bursts onto the stage all dazzling white shirt and mega confidence. His voice is cultured and a bit actorly and he strikes James Dean-like poses as he rails and rallies against ‘the machine’.
The material is excellent and I would imagine has probably been written, re-written, honed, obsessed about and re-written until something approaching perfection is reached. Subjects are basically the world, how it’s going to hell and how we are all impotent to do anything about it. The delivery is equally excellent with assured set-ups and pay-offs – Ahir playing the radical idealist in the setting up and the ineffectual middle-class leftie in the paying off (‘I like to keep my Labour Party membership beside my Waitrose card to remind me of where I come from’).
Machines comes in at just a shade over an hour which is v. rare for a one man stand-up on the Fringe (Free or otherwise). That might be my only criticism as there’s only so much railing and rallying an audience can take. Plus – for Ahir he must be exhausted – even if he’s a young guy!
(Review for 9 Aug)