Review: Omid Djalili at Buxton Opera House

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Despite freezing temperatures on the coldest night of the year, Buxton Opera House saw a good turnout for Omid Djalili’s standup comedy show ‘Iranalamadingdong’, on Sunday, January 18.

Boothby Graffoe did a great job warming up the audience with disarming charm, and a mix of quick-witted surrealist humour, absurdist tales, and audience participation.

Then Omid Djalili, British-Iranian actor-comedian, bounced onstage and, with enormous energy and warmth, delighted the Buxton audience. Moving effortlessly between the big issues, racism, terrorism, his Iranian background, he started by emphasising that he was not a spokesman for the Middle East, (but also assured us there were comedy clubs through the Middle East and quoted the Jongleurs Club in Baghdad where the well-known comic Jimmy Carbomb appeared and brought the roof down).

Moving on he covered celebrity, ageing and relationships. Some of his jokes hinged on cliches about ethnicity and cultural quirks, but even his weaker material was carried by the sheer force of his personality.

The pace never let up, a bravura performance decorated with a dazzling range of accents, interlaced with bursts of music and Iranian dancing (he had us helpless with laughter at his risqué rendition of belly-dancing), profound silliness and endearing self deprecation.

The audience loved him. Omid Djalili is a very funny man!

MARION CODD and ANNIE MORGAN