Friday, October 24, 2014

‘Please Hold, You’re Being Transferred to a UK Based Asian Representative’, Sadia Azmat

Rating: 333333

Dates: 5-27 August

Time: 12:40

Cost: Free

Where: Finnegan's Wake, The Back Room


‘Thank you for your call. Please hold.’ If those words send shivers down your spine, then pop along to hear young stand up Sadia Azmat divulge the secrets of call centres.

Azmat finds comedy in frustration, and her exploration of the world of the call centre contains some gems, such as the call centre worker operating undercover for the customers. She has a nose too for irony and, makes much of the confusion she causes as a British Asian based in Essex rather than, as callers expect, an Asian pretending to be British based in Bangalore.

At the same time, most people know someone who has worked in a call centre, and they’ve probably heard them complain about it too. It would have been interesting to hear Azmat to expand further on some of the other themes in her set. A stand up in a headscarf, Azmat is arguably in a unique position to brush aside the old everyone-thinks-we’re-terrorists jokes and tackle the more complex debates about Islam and women. As it is, we learn that the scarf isn’t permanently stuck to her head. Really.

It may be that like me, you leave  feeling that your enquiry hasn’t quite been answered. But Azmat has a big smile, and her list of complaints is funny enough to make for an enjoyable half hour.

Julia Rampen



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