BWW Reviews: AATIF NAWAZ - MUSLIMS DO IT FIVE TIMES A DAY, Leicester Square Theatre, September 7 2014

BWW Reviews: AATIF NAWAZ - MUSLIMS DO IT FIVE TIMES A DAY, Leicester Square Theatre, September 7 2014

Aatif Nawaz's new show is so full of bonhomie, so full of stories and so full of fun that it's easy to miss the source of much of his humour - the scary otherness explicit (and implicit) in the media's representation of Muslims. That's not just the tabloids, it's online too, though, as Aatif suggests, perhaps half of ranting website Britain First's Facebook likes may be Asian comics looking for material.

Aatif is a Wembley boy and a practising Muslim, who can flit between Hollywood and Bollywood in the blinking of an eye, giving us his wife's Marlon Brando impression one moment and his own hot as a vindaloo translation of those oh so innocent sounding Hindi songs the next. Muslims may indeed do it five times a day, while non-Muslims barely do it at all, but it turns out that we all have the same problems and we all laugh at the same things!

Though perfectly suitable for a crossover audience, much of the by-play with the audience (after five minutes we're all Aatif's friends, so that's all right) pokes gentle fun at the guys and gals with their heritage in the subcontinent, examining how Anglo-Indians and Anglo-Pakistanis keep one foot in each camp without toppling over (too often). It's all bang up to date, with references to Snapchat, YouTube and Skype and plenty more of the hi-tech used in today's globally inter-connected world.

Sixty minutes or so zips by, as a room full of strangers is transformed by Aatif's jokes and generosity, into a room full of friends. Laughing may not be one of the Five Pillars of Islam, but Aatif makes a good case for it being so - and that's a fine lesson to take home, whether you have a religion or not.

Aatif Nawaz - Muslims Do It Five Times A Day continues on selected Saturdays at the Leicester Square Theatre until 8 November. You can read my interview with Aatif by clicking here.

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From This Author Gary Naylor

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